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GROUP OF 8 MEDALS TO LT. COL. R.H.B. FELTHAM, 1ST PARACHUTE REGIMENT PLATOON COMMANDER WOUNDED & CAPTURED AT ARNHEM

*** RESERVED *** The iconic and rare Parachute Regiment officer's 1944 Arnhem P.O.W. group, Consisting of: 1939-45 Star; Africa Star with 1st army clasp; Italy Star; France & Germany Star; WWII Defence Medal; WWII War Medal; General Service Medal with Palestine 1945-48 clasp to Capt. R.H.B. Feltham, Dorsets; Campaign Service Medal with South Arabia clasp to Lt. Col. R.H.B. Feltham, D. & D.
Description

Robert Harold Bruce Feltham was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire on 24 Aug 1923, the son of Thomas Bruce Feltham, Town Clerk of Hereford City, and Myrtle Feltham (nee Tilsley). Enlisting with the Hampshire Regiment in 1941, Feltham was commissioned into the same regiment on 2 Apr 1943 and transferred to the 1st Parachute Battalion, serving in North Africa and Sicily before being placed Officer in Command of 7 Platoon (S Company), 1st Parachute Battalion for Operation Market Garden on 17 Sep 1944. By the first evening of the operation, Colonel Dobie had diverted direction from Amsterdamseweg and ordered the platoon to head straight for the Bridge, moving through Oosterbeek in the darkness. By about 05:00, No.7 Platoon, still leading the march now along the Utrechtseweg, left the town behind them and were about to pass underneath a railway bridge. With the section moving along the right of the road, they stumbled upon a German machinegun post, made from sandbags and manned by four Germans. Both parties were equally surprised by the other's presence, and the Company Sergeant Frank Manser (who was later awarded the Military Medal) still had his Sten gun slung over his shoulder. He shouted to them "You are my prisoners", which was met with a curious reply of "Englander?", but the German who was manning the gun then opened fire back down the road, which resulted in three men dead and wounding No.7 Platoon's Commander, Lieutenant Feltham. Sgt. Manser dived behind a tree and retreated down the road to call his section forward and organise fire from the Bren gunners. Further casualties were inflicted as the area was mortared and German reinforcements arrived and fired from the railway embankment. Lt. Col. David Dobie was once more up with S Company and Manser informed him what was happening. A flanking attack was about to be made on the bridge, but Dobie, not wanting to be delayed in such an action, ordered the men to fall back and head south towards another rail bridge.

Feltham was left wounded and captured by the Germans, first pronounced missing on 25 Sep 1944, then Wounded and Missing 25 Sep 1944, then Prisoner of War in German Hands 18 Sep 1944. He was imprisoned in Oflag IX-A/H in Spangenberg, Hessen. After the war, Feltham served with 9th Battalion, Parachute Regiment in Palestine before joining the 2nd Battalion Dorestshire Regiment, later becoming Major in the Devonshire & Dorsetshire Regiment and Wessex Brigade before being placed Second-in-Command the 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment from 1964-65. Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Feltham lastly joined the Trucial Oman Scouts in 1965, returning to the area with the Kuwait Liaison Team until 1978 and remaining there as a logistics advisor as a civilian until 1986.

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