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David McPhee

Servicenumber : 14365058
Rank : Private
Regiment : The Parachute Regiment
Unit : 4th Brigade HQ
Date of Death : 29 august 2006
Age : 82
David McPhee was born on 24 june 1924 in Greenock. He was a elders child of David and Florence. Before the war McPhee  worked for a tobacconist. 
McPhee served with the Defence Platoon of 4th Brigade HQ. On 18 september 1944 he landed with his unit on Ginkel Heath. Together with the rest of the brigade he moved towards Arnhem, but was stopped at the Dreyenseweg. On 20 september he reached Oosterbeek and was send to the area of the MDS crossroads.
David McPhee swam across the Rhine during the withdrawal of the 1st Airborne Division. On the website http://4thparachutebrigadearnhem1944.eu a personal account of McPhee is published. About the evacuation he wrote the following: "We made our way down the river with many stops and starts, crossing the low road near the old church was tricky owing to spandau's firing. We were called to board the boats, but after waiting about an hour an officer asked what we were waiting for and told to get across the river as the boats were sunk. I stripped off and made my way into the water and made for the other side. The crossing was under fire from the German positions on the high ground at Westerbouwing and I thought I wasn't going to make it when suddenly my feet touched bottom and I stood up and tried to climb the embankment." When McPhee reached the other side of the river he found two other men of the Brigade HQ, sergeant Edwin Argent and captain Harkess. They were both injured and McPhee called for medics to see to them. He was then taken to Nijmegen and back to England.
After the war McPhee returned to work for the same tobacconist that he worked with prior to the war. On 26 february 1946 he married Catherine McLaughlan of Greenock. They moved to Kilmarnock, where David ran a wholesale business.
David McPhee developed an interest in scuba diving and he became one of the first five first class diving offficers in Scotland. He was at different times diving officer and then chairman of the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club.  
David McPhee was the chairman of the Arnhem Veterans Club for many years. On 18 september 1998 he unveiled a monument near the Airborne Cemetery at Oosterbeek. This monument was a gift of the Arnhem Veterans Club to all the children who are laying flowers on the graves every year during the remembrance service at the cemetery. 
Sources: Website www.market-garden.info, website http://4thparachutebrigadearnhem1944.eu and David McPhee (son of David McPhee).   


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