A D-DAY hero who risked his life during the capture of Pegasus Bridge has been commemorated in a new exhibition at the Royal Signals Museum in Blandford.

Cpl Thomas Waters was awarded the Military Medal for single handedly repairing communication lines on the bridge while under enemy fire on June 6, 1944.

His daughter, Sylvia Atkinson, travelled from her home in Yorkshire to open the D-Day display dedicated to her father's heroism.

Cpl Waters leaped into action when comrades from the 7th Parachute Battalion were hit by machine gun fire as they tried to lay a line across the bridge.

Calling for cover, he ran on to the bridge under enemy fire and retrieved an injured soldier and his rifle and carried them to safety.

Then, without orders, he set about completing the task of laying communication lines to establish a vital link with Brigade HQ.

Still under heavy fire from the Germans, the young signaller made his way to the far bank to install and test the phone lines in a bunker manned by the 7th Para Battalion before returning to his detachment.

For many hours afterwards, enemy mortar and tank shells rained down as the Germans mounted a fierce counter attack.

The communication lines were cut on several occasions during the day and Cpl Waters bravely repaired them in the face of continuing machine gun fire.

The display features a painting of Cpl Waters at Pegasus Bridge and an interactive model depicting events on the historic day. There is also an interactive map of Dorset showing photographs of Dorset villages during the build-up to D-Day.

Museum spokesman Adam Forty said: "The painting is one of the most popular in the Corps. It's one it likes to think of as representing the bravery of their men."

First published: July 23