William Gregg VC, DCM, MM Rifle Brigade

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    William Gregg 1890-1969) was born at Tag Hill, Heanor, and joined the 13th Battalion of the Rifle Brigade in 1915. He was the first British Soldier ever to receive the 3 highest awards for gallantry.
    He received the Military Medal on 26 March 1917, for crawling between the opposing lines under the eyes of the enemy to establish the identity of a dead German soldier.

    On 26 November 1917, for carrying messages between different sections of his battalion while under heavy machine gun fire, he received the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
    Finally, on 28 June 1918, for "most conspicuous bravery and brilliant leadership in action," taking a German machine gun post after twice being forced back, he was awarded the Victoria Cross. The photograph shows him receiving the VC from King George V at the British Army headquarters at Doullens in France.
    After returning to England, he went back to work as a miner, until retiring in 1959. Sergeant Gregg died in 1969, and received full military honours at his funeral at the Heanor Free Church on Midland Road, prior to cremation at Markeaton. The Times newspaper ran an obituary for Mr Gregg, which perhaps goes some way to show how significant an achievement his was. He is remembered not only by a street name, but in the name of the town's Leisure Centre, opened in 1970.

    William Gregg, was born in Heanor on January 27, 1890. His father worked in the hosiery trade.
    Young Bill attended Mundy Street School in the town before becoming a miner at Shipley Colliery.
    At the age of 20, the young man wed his sweetheart, Sarah, but, after just four years of married life, the First World War broke out.
    Gregg soon enlisted in the Rifle Brigade and, by May 1915, he was with the 13th Battalion in France.
    Serving with the same unit was fellow Derbyshire man William Beesley.
    Over the next four years, both he and William Gregg endured the horrors of trench warfare on the Western Front in France.



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