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The World War 2 service of Leslie James Williams (1919 -1984)

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posted on 2024-06-05, 20:00 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

Leslie was born in Kempsey, Worcestershire on 9th August 1919, before World War 2 he was a Market Gardener. On 15th February 1940 he enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps at Boyce Barracks, Church Crookham, Hampshire, RAMC number 7371671. He was appointed Lance Corporal 14th May 1941, promoted to Corporal 26th June 1941.

Leslie trained as a nursing orderly at the Military Hospital, Liverpool Road, Chester from 18th November 1942 to 19th January 1943.
He married Rachel Pearson in July 1943, address given as Norton Barracks.
Posted overseas on 13th December 1943 to No 82 General Hospital. On 27th August 1944 he was appointed to Lance Sergeant.
History of No 82 British General Hospital World War 2
Saida (Syria) June 1943 to November 1943. Moascar (Algeria) November 1943 to December 1943. Cyrenaica (Libya) December 1943 to October 1944. Benghazi October1944 to 30th October 1946. Leslie was with No 82 British Hospital up to October 1944. During his time in the middle east, he compiled two photograph albums.

From October 1944 he was at No 13 British General Hospital -- Pass stamped October 1944 No 13 General Hospital -allowing him to enter Suez and Port Tewfik (now called Suez Port) daily after duty until 23.59 hours.

History of No 13 British General Hospital World War 2 Tidworth Park (Wiltshire) 1st September 1939 to 21st January 1940. Rouen 21st January 1940 to 17th June 1940. Malmsbury (Wiltshire) 17th September 1940 to November 1940. Tidworth Park November 1940 to January 1941, Suez from 4th March 1941 (British Military Hospital Suez).

The following dinners took place at No 13 General Hospital ---
Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess Dinner 23rd November 1944. Menu with numerous signatures.
V. J. Dinner Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess 26th August 1945, commenced at 8pm. Menu with numerous signatures.
Following on from the dinner, V. J. Race Meeting ----WO's and Sgt's Mess started at 9pm on 26th August 1945.

Another Photograph Album on front cover Bethlehem Church of the Nativity on the back cover Jerusalem. Almost all of the photographs appear to have been purchased and are of the following----Jerusalem, Nazareth, Tiberias, Tel Aviv, Gethsemane, Bethlehem, Jordan.
Only one photograph of soldiers ""Leslie and five other soldiers on horseback -below image --'Prior to our ride to the top of the Mount of Olives.'
In 1946 he was issued with a booklet prepared for servicemen on their way back to Britain, the Way Back ------
'in order to make the long journey from the Middle East to England more interesting by telling you something about the places that you will pass through or near.'
After crossing the Mediterranean Sea, they arrived at Toulon, France. On each page the estimated number of miles to travel were recorded -----at Marseilles it was 820 miles. They travelled through France by train to Dieppe then across the channel to Newhaven, England.
Service with the colours 15th February 1940 to 24th July 1946
During his army career Leslie progressed from Lance Corporal to Staff Sergeant.
'Military Conduct -Exemplary.'
'Testimonial---- Has been with that unit since 1944. Has plenty of zeal and initiative. An excellent Hospital Steward. Recommended with confidence for any position of trust.'
Transferred to Military Disposal Unit at Aldershot - 1st May 1946. Transferred to Army Reserve 25th July 1946. Discharged from Army Reserve Liability 30th June 1959.

After his war service Leslie returned to his family in Dumfries and later became the Manager of Pearson 's soft furnishings shop at Church Crescent Dumfries.
He attended courses at the Civil Defence Department, Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary. Completed a First Aid course at Police Headquarters 14th November 1956 to 19th December 1956.
Attended and passed St Andrews Ambulance Association examinations ---
First Aid to the Injured on 13th January 1959. And a second certificate for First Aid to the Sick and Injured 31st March 1961.


Item list and details

001 Photo album with wooden cover 002 a-d Photo album and three pages 003 Wallet (Egypt) 004 Three travel tickets 005 Supper and tea tickets 006 Soldier's Pay Book 007 ID tag 008 Photographs x 11 some from March/September 1945 009 Photographs x 9 some from June 1944 010a and b Photographs x 2 Leslie Williams RHS 2nd row 011 Record of service sheet 012 Soldier's Pass (Suez) 013aandb VJ Dinner August 1945 014aandb VJ Race Meeting August 1945 015aandb Dinner at hospital Nov 1944 016 'The Way Back' pamphlet 017 Receipt re: Army Pay 018 Release papers receipt 019 Army pay form certificate (release leave) 020 Pink form (release pay arrangements) 021aandb Certificate of Transfer - Leave 022 1979 Research Papers 023aandb Civil Defence Certificates x 3 024 Civil Defence photographs x 4

Person the story/items relate to

Lesley James Williams

Person who shared the story/items

Ann Halliday

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor


Type of submission

Shared at Dumfries Museum, Dumfries and Galloway on 13 May 2023.

Record ID

117731 | DUM006