Bill Speakman VC

Bill is a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He is one of only five living VC holders, and was the first to receive the award from Queen Elizabeth II. Bill joined the Army as a Black Watch soldier but later transferred to 1st Bn The Kings Own Scottish Borderers. It was during the Korean War, on November 4 1951 that the incident occurred resulting in his VC award. Bill went on to achieve the rank of Sergeant and served in Malaya, Borneo and Radfan.

Bill Speakman as a soldier in Korea
Bill Speakman won his VC during the Korean War, and has now donated it to the people of South Korea

After many years living abroad in South Africa, Bill is now living in assisted living accommodation back home in Altrincham. However his health was beginning to deteriorate which began to affect his mobility in and around the local area. The Soldiers’ Charity gave Bill a grant towards the purchase of an electric scooter so he could still retain his independence.

‘What you people do for our soldiers, it’s just wonderful.’

Bill says that it’s made a hugely positive difference to his life, saying that ‘It lengthens my outside living by a long way which is so important to me. When you’re a soldier, and you’ve done some years, you become part of a regiment, part of a family. But you know that if you’re really in trouble, there are people there who may be able to help, like how The Soldiers’ Charity have done with me. It touches your heart a bit’.

We were honoured to meet with Bill, at his home, who told us; ‘I really hope people do support The Soldiers’ Charity, a couple of bob here, a couple of bob there, it all makes a big difference. We must look after our own. People like The Soldiers’ Charity we know, and we trust because you’ve been on the go a long time.  What you people do for our soldiers, it’s just wonderful’.