Captain Theo F Redman

Captain Theo Redman served with 133 Parachute Field Ambulance RAMC. He took part in the Battle of Arnhem, during Op Market Garden and was instrumental in helping to establish the 'Airborne Hospital' at Apeldoorn during, and after the Battle.

Captain Redman jumped into action during the Second Lift on 18 September 1944 with 133 Para Field Ambulance as the Section Officer, for R Section. Captain Redman and several of his men were dropped to the north of DZ Y at Ginkel Heath. He was wounded in the arm and captured almost immediately upon landing, along with others from his stick. Together they ended up at a Dutch hospital established in the nearby village of Apeldoorn for treatment.

A fluent German-speaker, after a couple of days Captain Redman felt his wound was not too troublesome and offered to help the German doctors. He did so first by selecting cases for operations and arranged their movement to the theatres, and secondly, by assisting German surgeons in operations. Most of the German surgeons were civilians who appreciated his help, as they did their best to co-operate and act in a civil way towards the British wounded. At about a week at Apeldoorn, Captain Redman had become the official Liaison Officer for local Dutch hospitals covering admissions and X-rays and was allocated a German driver, an ambulance and complete freedom of movement.

Captain Redman did not establish the 'Airborne Hospital' alone. It appears reasonable to assume his early activities at Apeldoorn provided a good example for German officials however. His desire to help the Dutch and German medical staff, his professionalism and linguistic abilities may well have helped to persuade German commanders that involvement of a large number of captive British medical staff in the treatment of their own captured personnel would be acceptable. There were very clear practical considerations for the German staff however.

Initially the hospital facilities in Apeldoorn were intended to cater for a relatively small number of casualties. As the Battle progressed it became obvious the heavy casualties would need a larger, more organised facility. When Lt Col Herford (the CO of ground unit 163 Field Ambulance, who had arrived in Arnhem from HQ Airborne Corps at Nijmegen) came to Apeldoorn on 25 September 1944, he met the German Chief Regional Medical Officer, Lt Col Zingerlin and subsequently received authority to establish a 'British Hospital' at a pre-war Dutch Army base, the Willem III Kaserne Barracks in Apeldoorn. Later the same day, a huge influx of casualties and Medical personnel began and when the captured Divisional ADMS Col Warrack arrived from Arnhem and assumed command in the evening of 26 September, following the 1st Airborne withdrawal the previous night, the hospital was already fully-operational.

Captain Redman languages skills meant he was retained as the Liaison Officer under this new command and continued to serve in this role until the Hospital was finally dissolved in early October 1944. Captain Redman became a Prisoner of War, but escaped after jumping from an ambulance train being transferred to a prison camp on 6 October. He finally reached Allied lines in February 1945.

After the war, he was the awarded the Territorial Decoration in 1955.

Record under construction

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Service History


  • Territorial Efficiency Decoration

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