Medals and watch, of Private William Speakman

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Postcard of Medals and watch, of Private William Speakman.
© National Museums Scotland

Medals and watch, of Private William Speakman

These medals and this watch were presented to Private William Speakman of the King's Own Scottish Borderers. The medals, including the Victoria Cross, were won during the Korean War of 1951. The engraved gold wristwatch was presented to him at a homecoming reception in Altrincham, Cheshire, on 30 January 1952.

There are six medals, including the Victoria Cross on the left, and a wristwatch. The 2nd and 3rd medals were awarded for participation in the Korean War 1950-53.

In the 20th century, rank and position came to matter less in the public's identification of military heroes. Mass participation in war and Britain's decline as an independent military power shifted public attention away from senior commanders towards the ordinary soldier. William Speakman won his Victoria Cross for holding back a Chinese attack, hurling grenades while exposed to enemy fire for over 3 hours. On his return to Britain he found he had become a national celebrity.

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Online ID: 000-180-002-177-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  
Date: Medals: 1951; (Watch: 1952)
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