In October, 1944, Corporal Battersby and six other airmen commenced work at a town in Belgium on the clearance of hotels and houses required for occupation by the Royal Air Force. They were engaged in buildings comprising about 1,000-rooms and the enemy had drawn the window shutters and removed the electric lighting system. The party worked with hand torches. On the following day 3 of the party were badly injured and a fourth member received severe shock from the explosion of a charge which was detonated by the fouling of a concealed trip wire. Corporal Battersby took charge of the remaining members of the party, until the arrival of his Flight Commander, and continued the work until 1400 hours on the seventh day when the hotels were finally cleared. During this period So enemy mines and prepared charges, ingeniously hidden and laid to be functioned by one or more trip wires, were recovered, neutralised and disposed of. On a previous occasion Corporal Battersby was required to continue this form of work after casualties had occurred among his party. He has displayed high courage and leadership.
(London Gazette - 23 March 1945)
*Additional information/ service records requested!*
Personal details have been collected from official Service Records and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. Some of the additional information has been provided by War Diaries, Libera Me (G.E. Spittael), Polder Fighting (R.W. Catsburg), Veterans Affairs Canada, WW2 Talk, Aircrew Remembered and other sources. The commonwealth-adegem.com website is not responsible for incorrect information.
Everything has been collected and processed voluntarily by Michael van de Velde, Netherlands. Along the way I had great support from expert researchers and other volunteers. Thank you!