CSM John Henry Williams VC DCM MM & Bar

This photo of Sergeant-Major Williams was taken in May 1935 during a visit to the regiment by the Prince of Wales. His award for the VC was gazetted on 14th Dec 1918 and this account of his deed was published: On 7th/8th Oct 1918 at Villers Outreaux, France, CSM Williams, seeing that his company was suffering heavy casualties from an enemy machine-gun, ordered a Lewis gun to engage it. He went forward under heavy fire to the flank of the enemy post which he rushed single-handed, capturing 15 of the enemy. His prisoners realised that he was alone and grabbed his rifle but he managed to break away and shot 5 of them. The remainder surrendered to him and he brought them back, so enabling his company and the troops on the flanks to advance.

His other awards include the Distinguished Conduct Medal, the Military Medal (twice) and the Medaille Militaire. He was in the 10th Battalion South Wales Borderers during World War 1 and served in the Home Guard as captain during the Second World War. He was born in Nantyglo, Monmouthshire on 29th Sep 1886 and died in Newport on 6th Mar 1953.

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by Stephen Luscombe