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William Charles Williams
Deck gun. of UB-91, Chepstow.jpg
Deck gun from SM UB-91 as a memorial in Chepstow
Born (1880-09-15)15 September 1880
Died 25 April 1915(1915-04-25) (aged 34)
Place of birth Stanton Lacy, Shropshire
Place of death Cape Helles, Gallipoli
Allegiance Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Rank Able Seaman
Unit
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Victoria Cross

William Charles Williams VC (15 September 1880 – 25 April 1915) was a British 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.

Williams was born in Stanton Lacy in Shropshire, England, but raised in Chepstow, Wales. He joined the Royal Navy as a young sailor, but left in 1910, joining the reserve force and working in the police force and in a steel works in Newport. He rejoined the Navy in 1914 on being mobilised at the start of the First World War. He was 34 years old, and an able seaman in the Navy, when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.[1]

On 25 April 1915 during the landing on V Beach, Cape Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey, Williams, with three other men (George Leslie Drewry, Wilfred St. Aubyn Malleson and George McKenzie Samson) was assisting the commander (Edward Unwin) of their ship, HMS River Clyde (previously the SS River Clyde) at the work of securing the lighters. He held on to a rope for over an hour, standing chest deep in the sea, under continuous enemy fire. He was eventually dangerously wounded and later killed by a shell whilst his rescue was being effected by the commander who described him as the bravest sailor he had ever met.[1]

There are two memorials to him in Chepstow - a painting in St Mary's Church, as well as a gun from the German submarine SM UB-91 presented by King George V which stands in the town's main square beside the war memorial.

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