28 Pages Booklet, 4 pictures, 1 map, privately published
The Yorkshire Post, June 2005.
A Second World War veteran who survived the horrors of the Arnhem battle, when only
seven men of his unit of 73 survived, has been awarded the MBE. Austin Brearton, 82, was
awarded his honour for services to the Arnhem Veterans Club of which he has been secretary
for the last 20 years. The 650-strong club was set up 25 years ago and only three from his
unit are now left.
Mr Brearton, a retired headteacher, said he was delighted by the honour. He said: “I was
absolutely stunned when I was told, it was something I had never considered, it just came
out of the blue. Once I got over the shock I was very pleased.’’
The 19-year-old gunner was attached to the First Parachute Battalion and part of the
First Forward Observer Unit which took the brunt of enemy fire. He said: “Seventy-three of
us went in and only seven came out, back to the UK.’’
After Arnhem he served in Norway and Palestine, After five years in the Army he began a long
teaching career spanning more than 37 years in mostly Bradford schools.
He eventually became deputy head and ultimately headteacher of St Blaise School in Bierley.
He has been married for more than 60 years to wife Teresa. They have six children.