MAJOR David William WALLIS Second in Command, 2nd Parachute Battalion
Commissioned into the 4th (Territorial) Battalion of the Regiment in July 1939, he was mobilised and served with the Battalion in France and Belgium in 1940.
Returning to the UK he continued to serve with the 4th Battalion until April 1944 when he transferred to the Parachute Regiment.
Eventually he was posted to the 2nd Parachute Battalion as its Second in Command. He had been good friends with Lt-Colonel John Frost, Commanding the 2nd Parachute Battalion, since before the war, and his new commander was delighted to have him as his deputy. Frost regarded Wallis as very gifted and ideal for the post; having set about licking Battalion HQ into shape, while also relieving the Colonel of the worries of parachute and weapons training.
At Arnhem Bridge, once Brigadier Lathbury had been declared missing, Frost was asked to assume command of the 1st Parachute Brigade at the Bridge, and so command of the 2nd Battalion was passed to David Wallis.
Wallis was killed on Monday night. German troops had overrun two of A Company's outlying positions, and Wallis visited their HQ to see what could be done. As he left the house he was hit in the chest by machine gun fire and died instantly. The shots came from a building defended by sappers of the 9th Field Company. A fellow officer said that Major Wallis was quietly spoken and was not always comprehensible, and so when he was challenged by a sentry, his answer was not heard and he was fired on.
Command of the 2nd Battalion passed to Major Tatham-Warter.