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Lorne, Thomas

Date of birth:
June 27th, 1921 (Groombridge/Sussex, United Kingdom)
Date of death:
August 24th, 1990 (Australia)
Service number:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)


Thomas Lorne was one of 13 children. Sadly his mother died when he was only 11 and he was put in a childrenīs home. From there he was sent to work on a farm in Somerset. He lied about his age to enlist into the Somerset Light Infantry in 1937 aged 16.
Later he volunteerd for the airborne forces and served in Italy and landed in the second wave (18 September 1944) at Arnhem. At Arnhem he was wounded and taken prisoner of war. It's from there the citation for his Mention in Despatches picks up.

After the war he was a baker for a short while then became a charcoal burner.  He went to Australia in 1968 and died there on 24th August 1990.

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Second World War (1939-1945)
156th Parachute Battalion, 4th Parachute Brigade, 1st Airborne Division, British Army
Awarded on:
June 6th, 1946
Awarded for:
Operation Pegasus II
"The Germans captured LORNE when he was in hospital at OOSTERBEEK in September 1944 suffering from a bullet wound.

On the way to APELDOORN he and two other wounded men escaped from a moving ambulance into some Woods under fire from the guard.

LORNE's wound he re-opened and after his companions had rendered first aid, the party walked towards the Rhine.

After several hours they found a farm where they obtaned assistance and a guide. With the aid of various Dutch people LORNE and on of the others reached the Rhine.
They had been seperated from the third man the previous day whilst avoiding a German soldier. It was impossible to swim the Rhine as it was floodlit and the Germans were dug in along the bank. For the next six weeks LORNE and his companion were shelterted by the Dutch and in time were joined by many other escapees.

Eventually on 18 November the whole party tried to get through the German lines but they were detected and after several casualties LORNE's group surrendered. LORNE himself feigned death but the Germans shot him through the knee. He and the other wounded were put in Hospital and 4 days later sent to Germany.

Near the frontier while left unguarded in a disused cinema LORNE and another soldier wanted to escape but the officer with them said he had given his word they would not.

LORNE was finally liberated in April, 1945."
Mentioned in Despatches