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Forum Home > Black Country Heroes. > Smethwick, VCs.with true grit.

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Not so well known these two men from Smethwick, both of whom were born in Birmingham, as it turns out. The first is a man who lived in Three Shires Oak Road, was educated in the local Schools, became a Teacher, and got the bug for seing the World. He enlisted with the 21st Lancers in 1909. Service in India and Egypt followed, as did the rise to Lance Corporal, and then 1914 loomed. Sensing he had Officer potential, sent for training, he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant Herbert James, and posted to the Worcestershire Regiment. He was awarded the VC for his actions in that dreadful expedition known as Gallipolli, and his exploits, as the man who follows, can be read in an excellent little Book by Chris Sutton, called " For King and Country ".  The second man was Sergeant Harold Colley, whose family roots went back to Bilston, and lived in Cheshire Road, Smethwick. Together with over 80 of his workmates, from J and R Silversmiths, they enlisted with The Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry, where he became a despatch rider. First mentioned in Despatches in 1917, then in June 1918, he was award the Military Medal, and barely two months later, the Victoria Cross, in an action that cost him his life. The family received news of the award, before the dreaded telegram arrieved announcing his death. You can read the history of both these Heroes in the Book, copies of which are available from the Smethwick Heritage Centre, Victoria Park Lodge, High Street, Smethwick, B66 3NJ.


A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

July 2, 2013 at 11:04 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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