Robert Lindsay Hately, who was born in Worcester, was the son of Reginald and Cecily Hately, of Sydenham, London.
He was enlisted into The Hertfordshire Regiment in 1943 during World War II and volunteered for service with The Parachute Regiment. His brother, Johnny Hately, also served with The Parachute Regiment and fought at Arnhem later becoming a Company Sergeant Major with 2 PARA.
Robert attended parachute training course number 86, which ran at RAF Ringway from 4 to 19 October 1943. The cadre comprised 15 officers and 212 other ranks. The outstanding feature of this course was the attrition rate with 1 soldier killed, 15 injured and 9 refusals to jump. The injuries were mainly due to rough weather and high winds.
The course instructors’ notes record that Robert was ‘keen, jumped well and fearlessly’. He was posted to 12th (Yorkshire) Parachute Battalion after qualifying as a military parachutist.
Robert was promoted to Lance Corporal and later took part in the spearhead airborne assault which preceded the main D Day landings on 6 June 1944.
He parachuted into the Cherbourg peninsular but was killed on the first day of fighting in Normandy.
Lance Corporal Hately died on 6 June 1944, aged just 19 years old. He is now buried at Ranville War Cemetery, Normandy.
Profile photograph courtesy of the Hately family and the Airborne Forces Association WA.Compiled by Harvey Grenville