with Stuart Tootal
John Humphreys OBE, 101, was a boy-soldier joining the Royal Engineers aged 14 in the mid-1930s. He served in the UK, West Africa, North Africa, was wounded and captured at Tobruk in June 1942, escaped from a POW camp and walked hundreds of miles to reach the British lines in autumn 1943.
Back in the UK, he joined the engineer unit attached to the airborne forces and parachuted into Arnhem in 1944. He fought alongside John Frost's 1 Para, the only unit to make it to the all-important bridge over the Rhine. Captured again, he led a small group of men and escaped in a stolen boat and made it back to friendly lines at Nijmegen. John finished the war in Norway.
Post-war, John continued in the Royal Engineers before he joined the SAS. A long and distinguished career saw him rise to the rank of lieutenant-colonel.
His memoir written with former Parachute Regiment and best-selling military historian, Col Stuart Tootal will be published to coincide with the 80th anniversary of Arnhem in 2024.
Represented by: Philip Patterson
Untitled Last Arnhem Veteran (Michael Joseph, Sept 2024) - co-written with Stuart Tootal