Private Thomas A Pratt

01 Jan 1919 - 17 Sep 1944

Thomas Alfred Pratt was born in 1919 and enlisted into the Somerset Light Infantry on the 24 April 1939.

In 1943 he volunteered for Airborne Forces, and after completing the selection process at Hardwick Hall, near Chesterfield, was put on parachute course 65, at RAF Ringway, 17 to 28 May 1943. His instructor comments: Good mixer. Leader. Hard worker.

He was then sent as re-enforcement to the 2nd Parachute Battalion in North Africa. It is possible that he then took part in the parachute operation on Sicily in July 1943.

He would have taken part in ‘Operation Slapstick’, the invasion of Southern Italy in September 1943.

In December 1943 he, along with the rest of the 2nd Parachute Battalion, returned to England. The 2nd Battalion were based in billets in and around the Grantham area, with ‘C’ Company being at Hungerton Hall.

On Sunday, 17 September 1944 he took off in a Dakota aircraft from Saltby aerodrome, bound for DZ ‘X’ near Heelsum in Holland as part of ‘Operation Market-Garden’.

He is listed as killed in action on Sunday, 17 September 1944, probably in the attack on the Railway Bridge.

He was aged 25 and has no known grave.

The son of Mr and Mrs TA Pratt, he is commemorated on the Groesbeek Memorial, panel 9.

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Service History


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