Harold Williams

Royal Field Artillery

Personal Details

Born: In 1897 in Norbury, Cheshire and baptised on 30 April the same year in Marbury Parish Church.

Family: He was the second of five children born to Joseph Williams, a farm labourer, and his wife Emily. He married Ada Mary Braddock in 1928 in Congleton, Cheshire and together they had two children – Patricia M and Peter J.

Residence: His family were living in Norbury at the time of his baptism; by 1901 they had moved to Bickley, Cheshire. In 1911 they were living at 20 Liverpool Street, Whitchurch, Shropshire; the address shown for him on the 1919 Absent Voters’ Register was 22 Liverpool Road, Whitchurch (which is likely to be the same address). In 1939 he was living at 10 Main Street, Stoughton, Leicestershire and this was his address at the time of his death.

Employment: When he enlisted in 1915 he was a butcher; in 1939 he worked in the goods yard for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway; he was also an ARP warden.

Died: 17 September 1960 at the Isolation Hospital, Leicester, aged 63.

Military Details

Regiment: Royal Field Artillery

Rank: Gunner

Service Number: W/2820

Date of Enlistment: 1 April 1915

Date of Discharge: 10 June 1919

Reason for Discharge: Demobilisation

Other Information: His brother John Williams also served in WW1.

Medals and Awards

Harold was awarded the Campaign Medals (1915 Star, Victory and British War Medals)

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The 1914 Star (also known as 'Pip') was authorised under Special Army Order no. 350 in November 1917 and by an Admiralty Fleet Order in 1918, for award to officers and men of the British and Indian Expeditionary Forces who served in France or Belgium between 5 August and midnight of 22–23 November 1914. The former date is the day after Britain's declaration of war against the Central Powers, and the closing date marks the end of the First Battle of Ypres.

The 1914–15 Star (also known as 'Pip') was instituted in December 1918 and was awarded to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who served against the Central European Powers in any theatre of the Great War between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915. The period of eligibility was prior to the introduction of the Military Service Act 1916, which instituted conscription in Britain.

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.



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