William Coltman was born in Tatenhill Common, Burton upon Trent in 1891. Although a highly religious man he joined the British Army assigned to the North Staffordshire Regiment in 1915.
He began his service as a rifleman being promoted to lance corporal. He witnessed the horrors of battle at Gommecourt in 1916 which had a lasting effect on him, he requested to be reassigned as a stretcher-bearer. After WWI being discharged he took a job as groundskeeper with the town of Burton.
He was called back to duty during WWII given the rank of captain with the Burton on Trent Army Cadet Force. Retiring in 1963 he died in 1974, he was 82. What you may not know about him is that he was the most decorated enlisted man of WWI in the British Army. His medals include the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Conduct Medal with bars and the Military Medal with bars. He accomplished all of this without firing a single shot. His Victoria Cross is on display at the Staffordshire Regiment Museum at Whittington Barracks, Lichfield. During this Memorial Day weekend, I hope you take time to honor those who fought not only for the United States but other countries as well for the freedoms we all enjoy. Until tomorrow keep that smile on your face and a penny in your pocket.