George Williams Finally Receives WWII Medals 64 Years Later

91 year old war hero, George Williams, has finally been awarded six bravery medals for his time in the Second World War. The medals were lost in the mail almost 64 years ago. Williams was a former chief petty officer in the Royal Navy, refused to complain about the missing medals which he was owed for his bravery during the Second World War.

It was only brought to light when his son, Stephen Williams, a solicitor from East Bergholt, Suffolk, researched his father’s stories of his time in the navy that the oversight was uncovered. The medals were, in fact, issued and set to an address in East Ham, London way back in July 12, 1950. Unfortunately, they never arrived.

A surprise ceremony was arranged at the Royal Hospital School on March 30, 2014. The ceremony was to present Williams with the long-overdue medals. The medals were presented by Captain Warren Bairstow, CSC, RAN, Naval adviser to the Australian High Commission.

George Williams

The medals include the 1939-1945 Star, the Atlantic Star, Pacific Star, the France and Germany Clasp, the War Medal 1939-1945 and the Defense Medal. After the ceremony, Williams said it felt beautiful. He finally feels satisfied after waiting for the medals for 60 years.

Williams from Rayleigh, Essex, served on a minesweeper at the D-Day landings in Normandy. He also did stints in Canada, Australia and Sri Lanka. Stephen said it was a long time coming for the medals to arrive and while his father never made a big fuss about it, but Stephen believed something needed to be done. The ceremony was an emotional one. When they saluted Williams, he automatically saluted in return. Williams said it brought back many memories.

Although Williams only stands at 5’2”, what he did during the war makes him a giant among men.

George Williams (r) and his son, Stephen.

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE