He took an umbrella with his kit as a means of identification because he had trouble remembering passwords and felt that anyone who saw him with it would think that “only a bloody fool of an Englishman” would carry an umbrella into battle.
A Company were dropped away from the target of Arnhem Bridge and had to go through Arnhem where the streets were blocked by German forces. Digby led his men through the back gardens of nearby houses instead of attempting to advance through the streets and thus avoided the Germans. Digby and A Company managed to travel 8 miles in 7 hours while also taking prisoner 150 German soldiers including members of the SS. During the battle, Digby wore his red beret instead of a helmet and waved his umbrella while walking about the defences despite heavy mortar fire. When the Germans started using tanks to cross the bridge, Digby led a bayonet charge against them wearing a bowler hat. He later disabled a German armoured car with his umbrella, incapacitating the driver by shoving the umbrella through the car’s observational slit and poking the driver in the eye.
Digby then noticed the Padre pinned down by enemy fire while trying to cross the street to get to injured soldiers. Digby got to him and said “Don’t worry about the bullets, I’ve got an umbrella”. He then escorted the padre across the street under his umbrella. When he returned to the front line, one of his fellow officers said about his umbrella that “that thing won’t do you any good”, to which Digby replied “Oh my goodness Pat, but what if it rains?”
(People always talk about Jack Churchill for his Longsword and Longbow, so I thought as if I should make a post about Digby and his Umbrella.)