Talk in Athenaeum on highly honoured First World War stretcher bearer

The Athenaeum. Picture: CHRIS ORANGE

The Athenaeum. Picture: CHRIS ORANGE - Credit: Archant

He was a stretcher bearer in the First World War and never fired a shot in anger.

But William Coltman is now described as the highest decorated soldier of the British Army having been awarded the Victoria Cross, Military Medal and bar and the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Bar.

And his great grandson Tim Coltman is giving a presentation on his life at a special talk at The Athenaeum, in Bury St Edmunds, on Wednesday, just a stone’s throw away from the Victoria Cross artwork near the Abbey Gardens, which was created as part of the First World War Trail in the town.

The trail comes to its conclusion on Armistice Day and the talk is linked with it and is entitled “The Story of Two Crosses”. It is taking place from 7.30pm.

William Coltman, who died in 1974 aged 83, refused to fight and kill as a result of his faith but went to war as a stretcher bearer.


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The presentation traces his life and lasts for approximately 45 minutes.

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