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Reply with quote  #1 

Mike could you tell me if it was true, in the Korean War a Private from the RAOC won The Victoria Cross, secondly, there was a W.O. in Bramley @1967 who it was said his father had won The Victoria Cross NO NAMES SORRY Regards Phillip

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Reply with quote  #2 

Phillip,

 

I am only aware of two VC's being awarded during Korea, one to the CO Glousters, and one to a Pte Speakman Black Watch attached to the Glosters, but then no doubt I will be proven wrong, but Speakman wrote two books "One Mans War" and "One Mans SAS" read both, and very interesting.  Also another good read is a book called the "Last Eleven", which up untill last year would be the last eleven VC's awarded since WW2.

 

Ian.


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Reply with quote  #3 

Phillip according to this site only 4 received the VC in Korea no RAOC personnel listed

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Korean_War_Victoria_Cross_recipients


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Reply with quote  #4 

Thank you Ian, that is one down, just the second one now, mind you re Korean War it was said he was a Scotsman and after the war he joined the RAOC . Or am i just cluching at straws Regards Phillip

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Reply with quote  #5 

Bill Speakman became a photographer, Army Public relations. I remember he was in the Sgts Mess at Blackdown, not entirely sure he was RAOC by then or not.


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Reply with quote  #6 

Phillip,

 

After his stay in a POW camp he was deemed unfit for Duties and put in the QM's, as a storeman, but excused duties and the like but was courting a lady that lived in Wales and on leave would run around the Brecons, this is in HIS book, then holding the rank of Cpl applied for the SAS to the disgust of his CO, who had excused him from all duties as unfit.  As I have said before I will be proved wrong, but if you can get hold of said books it will make it more understandable.

 

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Reply with quote  #7 

I remeber Bill marrying a lady in the WRAC in Singapore (1955/56). was that in his book?


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Reply with quote  #8 

Tel,

 

Are we on about the same chap?.

 

Ian.


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Reply with quote  #9 

 Major Kenneth Muir of Arygll's won a VC in Korea hill 282, died of woulds later


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Reply with quote  #10 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHILLIP
Thank you Ian, that is one down, just the second one now, mind you re Korean War it was said he was a Scotsman and after the war he joined the RAOC . Or am i just cluching at straws Regards Phillip
 

Jeep Hi M8. I served with Bill Speakman in 1960s and at that time he was the unit photographer in the 1st Bat.K.O.S.B. in Redford Bks. Edinburgh. The other two lads who were awarded the MM in the same skirmish in Korea were John Pender and Cush Common Jimmy Rae  


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Reply with quote  #11 

Not much to add really! Only VC holder I know of who also served in the RAOC is:

 

Colonel Graham, Thomson, LYALL RAOC

 

Late 102nd Bn Central Ontario Regiment, CEF

Won VC at Bourlon Wood, France, 27 September 1918

 

Died 28 November 1941, Egypt while serving in the RAOC Engineering Branch

 

http://www.victoriacross.org.uk/ggegypt.htm

 

His medals are in the REME Museum.

 

While Bill Speakman served in the  Black Watch, The First Battalion The Kings Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB) he is in fact an Englishman. I have no record of him ever having served in the RAOC. He may have been a Regimental Photographer.

 

http://althistsoc.users.btopenworld.com/biogs.html

 

Quote:
Speakman, William

Private Bill Speakman 14471590, who was born in Altrincham in 1927 at 17 Moss Lane, is one of the few privates to have been awarded a Victoria Cross and is probably the best-remembered Korea VC. He attended Oakfield Street Infant School then Wellington Road School. At 15 he joined the cadets of the Cheshire Regiment and at 18 joined the Black Watch, The First Battalion The Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was and still is six feet seven inches (2m) tall and although born in Cheshire has dark Scottish looks. After serving in Trieste, Hong Kong and Germany he volunteered for Korea in 1951. In 1952 he was awarded the VC for his actions when wounded and under fire from the Chinese in November 1951 and came home to an official reception in Altrincham. When King George VI died he represented the Army when the Services broadcast tributes. He married Rachel Snitch in Singapore and they had six children. He retired from the Army at 40 and bought a house in Huntingdonshire. He sold his war medals for £1,500 to repair the house, which were later sold in 1982 for £20,000 but are now in the War Museum of Scotland at Edinburgh Castle. He later moved to Torquay, was divorced in 1972 and went to South Africa where he changed his name to Speakman-Pitt, remarried, and had another daughter. Bill has now moved back to the Altrincham area and is president of Altrincham and Bowdon Civic Society.

 

 

 

 


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Reply with quote  #12 

Yes Ian, Speakman definitely became a photographer, and was at least attached to the RAOC Sgts Mess at Blackdown. (probably 1959). He married a WRAC ( L/Cpl?) in Singapore, 55/56. I remember the local press coverage and photos. Tel


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Reply with quote  #13 

Re Speakman VC. Did he not finish up in Royal Hospital Chelsea? I seem to remember the commentator at the British Legion Festival of Remembrance mention it a few years ago?


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Reply with quote  #14 

Well no doubt his books are tosh, as having looked at Mike's link he goes under the name of Speakman-Pitts now, but I do remember watching the Rememberance programme that the Beeb did a couple of years ago, and he marched on as an In-Pensioner, but since has moved to pastures untold?.

 

Ian.


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Reply with quote  #15 

 I could never understand why anybody would SELL their VC but SApeakman did and it was later bought by the K.O.S.B. jIMMY


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Reply with quote  #16 

Thank you Ian. That confirms my theory about Chelsea.


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Reply with quote  #17 

Tel,

 

We seem to be saying the same thing, my typing must get quicker!.

 

Ian.


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Reply with quote  #18 

Ian , I have a feeling that Speakman's books (I haven't read them) may gloss over a few things. Still, he earned his VC, so I shall say no more. Good luck to him, whatever he is doing now, Tel


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Reply with quote  #19 

Tel,

 

But having read the books, and other accounts, it was at one stage said his actions were due to being drunk as he had consumed  rather alot of booze prior to the action, but then that is another story, and as for selling it Jimmy, hard times bring hard actions.

 

Ian.


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Reply with quote  #20 

Another Link:

 

http://www.manchester2002-uk.com/celebs/military.html

 

Bill Speakman VC

(Born 1927)
Altrincham born Bill Speakman was a tall man of 6 feet 6 inches who began a military career as a drummer boy in the local Army Cadet Corps. He later joined the King's Own Scottish Borderers, and went on to be awarded the Victoria Cross for Gallantry in 1951 during the Korean War. The award was given as a result of his repeated charges against a heavily defended enemy hill position without regard for his personal safety, and despite being wounded and out of ammunition, pelted the enemy positions with tin cans, stones and beer bottles. Speakman was the first to receive the VC from Queen Elizabeth II, and was dubbed the "Beer Bottle VC" by the press.
 
A shy and retiring man, he returned from the war to Altrincham to be greeted by throngs of well-wishers and civic dignitaries.
 
After demobilisation, Speakman grew unhappy with civilian life, and later after remarrying he went to South Africa in 1972 where he worked as a Security Officer in Durban.
 
Bill became a Chelsea Pensioner on the 1st November 1993 and was among the Pensioners that marched across the Royal Albert Hall arena at the Festival of Remembrance ceremony on 13th November 1993.
He became an out pensioner the following year and returned to South Africa. He returned to take part in the Queen's Golden Jubilee Parade in London on the 4th of June 2002.
 
Bill Speakman's Victoria Cross and his other medals reside in the National War Museum of Scotland, The Castle, Edinburgh, formerly known as the Scottish United Services Museum.

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Reply with quote  #21 

Mike,

 

A very concise report, sketchy to the point of pointless, no real reading!.

 

Ian.


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Reply with quote  #22 

Well Ian, Thats about as good as you will find.

 

I can find little or nothing about his military service after his VC

 

I posted it more to confirm his later years re Chelsea Pensioners.


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Reply with quote  #23 

 one thing is correct the night in question Bill Speakman was P***HED out his head


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Reply with quote  #24 

Mike,

 

You and I, and many more are Chelsea Pensioners', but we are Out Patients, read the rules on In and Out Patients?.

 

Ian.


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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_2817

Another Link:

http://www.manchester2002-uk.com/celebs/military.html

Bill Speakman VC

(Born 1927)
Altrincham born Bill Speakman was a tall man of 6 feet 6 inches who began a military career as a drummer boy in the local Army Cadet Corps. He later joined the King's Own Scottish Borderers, and went on to be awarded the Victoria Cross for Gallantry in 1951 during the Korean War. The award was given as a result of his repeated charges against a heavily defended enemy hill position without regard for his personal safety, and despite being wounded and out of ammunition, pelted the enemy positions with tin cans, stones and beer bottles. Speakman was the first to receive the VC from Queen Elizabeth II, and was dubbed the "Beer Bottle VC" by the press.
A shy and retiring man, he returned from the war to Altrincham to be greeted by throngs of well-wishers and civic dignitaries.
After demobilisation, Speakman grew unhappy with civilian life, and later after remarrying he went to South Africa in 1972 where he worked as a Security Officer in Durban.
Bill became a Chelsea Pensioner on the 1st November 1993 and was among the Pensioners that marched across the Royal Albert Hall arena at the Festival of Remembrance ceremony on 13th November 1993.
He became an out pensioner the following year and returned to South Africa. He returned to take part in the Queen's Golden Jubilee Parade in London on the 4th of June 2002.
Bill Speakman's Victoria Cross and his other medals reside in the National War Museum of Scotland, The Castle, Edinburgh, formerly known as the Scottish United Services Museum.


He must have been a bit of a case English boy serving with the Jocks.

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