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Welsh veteran honoured with memorial stone in Nantyglo near Brynmawr

Credit: Army Photographer Wales, Cpl Tom Evans

More than 100 soldiers have marched in a parade through the streets of Brynmawr today to reaffirm the Freedom of Blaenau Gwent Country Borough Council.

Credit: Army Photographer Wales, Cpl Tom Evans

Following the parade, a memorial stone was unveiled to commemorate the award of the Victoria Cross to Company Sergeant Major John Henry Williams in his hometown of Nantyglo outside the Senior Citizen Hall.

CSM Williams is the most decorated Welsh NCO of all time. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

In 1916, CSM Williams was part of the 38th (Welsh) Division sent to clear the Mametz Wood, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for "conspicuous gallantry in action.”

A year later, he fought at Pilckem Ridge during the Battle of Passchendaele (3rd battle of Ypres) and was awarded the Military Medal for bravery.

Then at Armentieres on October 30, 1917, he had a Bar added to his Military Medal for saving a wounded comrade.

CSM Williams was awarded the Medaille Militaire, the French equivalent of the VC. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

In 1918, at Villers Outreaux, his unit were being fired on by an enemy machine guns. CSM Williams won the Victoria Cross (VC) for putting his life at risk and managing to take 15 prisoners.

King George V presented CSM Williams with his four medals in Buckingham Palace. It was the highest number of medals the king had presented to one person in one day.