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Stories of Bravery

This story was taken from BBC News South East Wales, and mentioned on our regimental website:-
Company Sergeant Major John Henry Williams VC, DCM, MM and Bar
Born in 1886 in Nantyglo, he started work at the age of 12 at the Ebbw Vale Steel, Iron & Coal Company and then joined 10th Battalion South Wales Borderers (now absorbed into The Royal Welsh). He was part of the 38th (Welsh) Division at Mametz Wood in July 1916 and was later awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. [There is now a Welsh Memorial with a Dragon on the top at Mametz Wood commemorating all welsh soldiers]. John Williams was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in 1917 at the Battle of Passchendaele, and then a bar to the Military Medal after he helped a wounded comrade through the battlefield despite shrapnel and bullets at Armentieres. In 1918 he stormed an enemy machine gun post under heavy fire and took 15 prisoners, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. Due to wounds in legs and arms he was medically discharged and returned to Ebbw Vale. King George V presented him his medals and it was the first time he had given so many to one person in one day. This month a plaque commemorating this very brave man has been unveiled at the site of the office building of that company, which now houses 'Gwent Archives'. Brigadier Phillip Napier, Colonel of The Royal Welsh said, "To win the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for bravery as well as three other gallantry medals is quite exceptional".
Finally when he returned home, the owners of the steelworks gave him a house and a lifetime supply of coal and electricity.

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