WWII veteran, John Bosley, from Warminster died on Tuesday 4 October, aged 97.
Born in 1925, John enlisted in 1943 at the age of 17, and after training, volunteered and was accepted for the Parachute Regiment. His parachute training included two jumps from a balloon, three from Whitley Bombers and two from a Dakota before he was given his wings.
Posted to 11th Battalion Parachute Regiment, his first operation was in September 1944 when he landed on Ginkel Heath as part of Operation Market Garden. The Battalion was ordered to proceed to the bridge in Arnhem to help Colonel Frost, Commander of the 2nd Parachute Battalion but they couldn’t reach the bridge and were re-routed to Oosterbeek.
While defending a gun position, John was injured in the leg and taken to the house of Kate ter Horst, better known as the Angel of Arnhem. The British troops could not reach them, and John was taken prisoner and transported to Germany as a POW where he was held in a series of camps.
At Christmas 1944, the prisoners were to be marched out of the camp. As John’s injured leg was still not good, he was hidden in the camp by the doctor and then secreted himself in the coal mine for a week. Running out of food, he came out and was amazed to see the Germans throwing down their weapons as a column of American tanks approached. Taken to France, John was flown back to the UK and given six weeks leave before being posted to Palestine for 18 months.
Dick Goodwin, vice president of the Taxi Charity, said: "John was a wonderful, kind and gentle character who had taken part in Operation Market Garden, the battle for the Bridge at Arnhem. Rest in peace, John. You will always be in our thoughts."
Peter Carey, Taxi Charity committee member, London taxi driver and former member of the 10th Parachute Regiment TA, said: "It was always a pleasure to spend time with an Airborne brother. RIP John, you will be missed."
John Bosley’s funeral will be held at 1pm on 2 November in West Wiltshire Crematorium, in Semington BA14 6HL and his daughter Tina would welcome those who knew her father and veterans to join them.