Allison Digby Tatham-Warter - Painting

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by nthornton1979, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. nthornton1979

    nthornton1979 New Member

    Hi all,

    This is my first post on here.

    I wonder if anyone could perhaps point me in the right direction to a source regarding an exploit allegedly carried out by Tatham-Warter's at Arnhem?

    It is often said that he led a charge; swinging his umbrella round his head and wearing a bowler hat. I have been searching for the primary source for this but have been unable to find one. This link (Major Digby Tatham-Warter) suggests it has come from Major Gough.*

    The reason for me wanting to pin this down is that I am commissioning a large oil painting by a prolific war-artist showing 'Digby' leading his men in an attack at Arnhem, donning his bowler hat whilst swinging his brolly round his head.

    I have been able to locate the sources for some of his other well-known exploits whilst others - chiefly him thrusting his brolly through the slit of an armoured car (or tank, depending on the source) - I am doubting occurred (again, I would be grateful to learn of a primary source to prove me wrong)

    I am wondering if there is a source either by Gough, or quoting Gough, which confirms that Digby's bowler hat charge took place. If not, I may need to rethink the painting!

    Thanks in advance.

    * Even old hands like Major Freddie Gough became disheartened when Mark IV Tanks crossed the Bridge and the battle seemed lost, but his gloom lifted instantly when he caught sight of Digby leading a bayonet charge against German infantry who had dared to enter British territory; carrying a pistol in one hand, madly swinging his umbrella about his head with the other, and now sporting a bowler hat on his head - which he had obtained from God knows where - doing his best to look like Charlie Chaplin.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  3. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi Neil,

    Your quote from the Pegasus Archive concerning Tatham-Warter comes from the Cornelius Ryan Book, A Bridge Too Far. The primary source would be Ryan's interview with Gough held in Folder 17 under "1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron, 1st A/ B Div." at the Cornelius Ryan Collection:

    The Cornelius Ryan Collection - British Forces - A Bridge Too Far - Ohio University

    Interviews with Chaplain Egan, Lt. Barnett and others who mention Tatham-Warter can also be found there. To obtain transcribed pages you probably would have to convince them of the legitimacy of your research.

    Regards ...
  4. nthornton1979

    nthornton1979 New Member

    Thanks you both for your replies.

    All things considered I think the painting can safely go ahead.

    Much appreciated.

  5. nthornton1979

    nthornton1979 New Member

    Hi all,

    I finally collected the painting of Digby last week and thought I should show it on here to 'complete' the thread.

    Thank you again for the help back when I commissioned it.

    P.S - It's rather large!


    Attached Files:

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