40. The British Officer Who Went Into Combat Carrying an Umbrella
Try as one might, it is hard to come up with a more British sounding name than Major Allison Digby Tatham-Warter (1917 – 1993), a British Army paratrooper who went into battle carrying an umbrella. The son of a wealthy landowner who died when Digby was 11 from the lingering effects of WWI injuries, he graduated from Sandhurst – Britain’s West Point – in 1937.
Digby served in India, where he lived it up enjoying what rich British scions of the day did, like tiger hunting and pig sticking. When WWII broke out in 1939, he did not go out of his way to seek an active assignment that would take him away from his fun. However, his brother was killed in the Battle of El Alamein in 1942, and upon hearing the news, Digby volunteered for active service with the Parachute Regiment. It set him on the path to becoming a legend.