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Bill Speakman

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United Kingdom

British Army

Years of service


Bill Speakman

Victoria Cross

Armed force officer

Bill Speakman Meet the ten living recipients of the Victoria Cross

21 September 1927 (age 96) Altrincham, Cheshire, England (

Korean War Malayan Emergency Indonesian Confrontation Aden Emergency

Battles and wars
Korean War, Malayan Emergency, Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation, Aden Emergency

King's Own Scottish Borderers, Special Air Service

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British war veteran bill speakman presents vc medals to s korea 6 25

William Speakman-Pitt, VC (born 21 September 1927) is a former British Army soldier and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was the first person to receive an honour from Queen Elizabeth II. As of February 2016 he is one of ten living VC recipients.


Bill Speakman httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Military career

Bill Speakman VIDEO Torquay VC hero Bill Speakman is face of Poppy

He was born and brought up in Altrincham, Cheshire. He was 24 years old and a private in the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment), British Army, attached to the 1st Battalion, King's Own Scottish Borderers during the Korean War when the following deed took place at United Hill, for which he was awarded the VC.

On 4 November 1951 in Korea, when the section holding the left shoulder of the company's position had been seriously depleted by casualties and was being overrun by the enemy, Speakman, on his own initiative, collected six men and a pile of grenades and led a series of charges. He broke up several enemy attacks, causing heavy casualties and in spite of being wounded in the leg continued to lead charge after charge. He kept the enemy at bay long enough to enable his company to withdraw safely.

Bill Speakman Altrincham war hero Bill Speakman returns to South Korea to give his

Although his award was made by King George VI, Speakman was the first VC invested by Queen Elizabeth II. He later achieved the rank of sergeant and served in Malaya (with the Special Air Service), Borneo and Radfan.

Later life

Bill Speakman The Queens first Victoria Cross The Royal British Legion

Due to financial hardship, Speakman sold his original VC, using the money to put a new roof on his cottage, but later got a genuine replacement. His Victoria Cross is displayed in the National War Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh Castle. He was interviewed for the 2006 television docudrama Victoria Cross Heroes, which also included archive footage and dramatisations of his actions.

In a ceremony held in Seoul on 21 April 2015, for visiting veterans of the Korean War, Speakman gave a replica of his Victoria Cross and other medals to the people and government of South Korea.

Bill Speakman is currently a uniformed in-pensioner of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. He still meets Queen Elizabeth II, and other Victoria Cross recipients at reunions.


Bill Speakman Wikipedia

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