Arnhem Umbrella

Major Digby Tatham Warter DSO

Neil Thornton

Major Digby Tatham Warter, the major who fought at Arnhem with umbrella and bowler hat, led a remarkable life. Known for his eccentric nature and bravery in battle, he played a prominent part in the ill-fated Operation Market Garden. Escaping from captivity, he devised a miraculous withdrawal through enemy lines before moving to Kenya.
Date Published :
December 2022
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781558829
Pages : 304
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6.15 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Operation Market Garden was Major Digby Tatham Warter’s first action. As the OC of ‘A’ Company, 2 Para, he led the advance to the Arnhem road bridge, brushing aside German resistance to reach the objective. Over the course of the next four days, Digby - a well-known eccentric - enhanced his reputation further by displaying solid leadership and a fearlessness that left everyone who witnesses it in awe. Picking up an umbrella and bowler hat from one of the houses, Tatham Warter strolled around the perimeter oblivious to shot and shell, instilling confidence in his men and inspiring them to battle on in the face of overwhelming odds. Wounded and captured at the battle’s end, Digby escaped and linked up with the Dutch Resistance. For weeks he strutted around the area disguised as a deaf and dumb Dutchman to fool the Germans. He collected over hundred paratroopers (‘evaders’) and forged a plan to lead them through enemy lines to safety. His post-war years are just as exciting. This is his story.

About The Author

Through his research, Neil Thornton has contributed to various military publications. He has written articles on a diverse range of British military history and holds workshops for schools, historical groups and the Armed Forces. Neil also involves himself in a variety of military projects. He was born in 1979 and lives in Runcorn, Cheshire with his wife and daughter. He works in the chemical industry.


Foreword; Preface; Author Notes; Acknowledgements; 1 Family; 2 Military Life, 3 Siblings go to War; 4 North Africa; 5 The Airborne; 6 Bitter Disappointment; 7 Sunday 17 September 1944; 8 Monday 18 September 1944; 9 Tuesday 19 September 1944; 10 Wednesday 20 September 1944; 11 Escape and Evasion; 12 The Deaf and Dumb Son of a Lawyer; 13 Developing Plans; 14 A Golden Opportunity; 15 Post-Arnhem; 16 A New Beginning and the Mau Mau; 17 Life in Kenya; 18 A Bridge Too Far; 19 Later Life; Appendix I: Digby Tatham Warter’s Report; Appendix II: Digby Tatham Warter Evasion Report; Appendix III: David Dobie Report; Endnotes; Bibliography.

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