1st Airborne Divisional Signals

1st Airborne Divisional Signals

1941 to 1945

1st Airborne Divisional Signals was the main Signals unit for the HQ 1st Airborne Division. Originally raised as the Airborne Divisional Signals, the Squadron came into existence with some of the earliest Airborne units and took part in several early Airborne operations.

In 17 September 1944, men of 1st Airborne Divisional Signals deployed to Arnhem for Op Market Garden in glider and parachute formations from RAF Down Ampney. The Divisional Signals remained with the Divisional HQ throughout the battle, though their brave efforts to establish effective signals communications with Divisional troops were continually hampered by damaged or missing equipment, the intensity of the fighting around the Divisional HQ and the confusion of battle. By the end of the Battle, almost all of their signals equipment was unserviceable. Despite this, a rear party (many of whom were injured and could not be evacuated) maintained communications to assist in the evacuation of Arnhem, during Op Berlin on the night of 25-26 September 1944.

The remainder of the 1st Airborne Divisional Signals made it to Nijmegen and were able to reform at Caythorpe, Lincs shortly afterwards. As the war drew to a close, the Divisional Signals were despatched to Norway and played a vital role in helping to organise the administrative functions for internal security, the return of the King Haakon VII and effective civilian government.

The Divisional Signals remained in Norway until late August 1945. Returning to the UK, the unit was disbanded as the 1st Airborne Division ceased to exist. For the Divisional Signals however, some would continue in Airborne service, posted as reinforcements to the 1st Parachute Brigade Signals Section.

Officers Commanding

1944       Lt Col TGV Stephenson

(Currently under research)

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  • Group photo of 1st Airlanding Brigade Signal Section posing with a captured flag, Italy, October 1943

    Group photo of 1st Airlanding Brigade Signal Section posing with a captured flag, Italy, October 1943

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  • HRH The Princess Royal with Officers of the 1st Airborne Divisional Signals, March 1944.

    HRH The Princess Royal with Officers of the 1st Airborne Divisional Signals, March 1944.

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  • Number 1 Company, 1st Airborne Divisional Signals. Honington Hall, Lincs, Sept 1944.

    Number 1 Company, 1st Airborne Divisional Signals. Honington Hall, Lincs, Sept 1944.

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