Lieutenant William Thomas Brimley James


Unit : No.4 Commando

Service No. : 186188

Awards : Military Cross


Lieutenant James was commissioned into the Welch Regiment on the 10th May 1941. He served with No.4 Commando in Normandy, where he was awarded the Military Cross:


For courage and leadership displaying during the enemy attack at Hauger on the evening of the 8th June 1944. The enemy had broken through the position covering the Command left flank and were advancing up a valley straight towards Commando Headquarters which was being held by only a few men. Lieutenant James realised the danger of the situation and immediately called a few men and started a counter attack. Although the enemy strength was estimated at one platoon he advanced with his small force and held the enemy's thrust. He personally accounted for many of the enemy by first firing a Bren Gun until the ammunition for that gun was expended. He then continued to fire with a rifle until all the ammunition for that weapon had gone and finally he picked up a Garrand Rifle continued to fire and succeeded in holding the enemy until a force arrived to assist his small party to drive the enemy back. By his prompt and brave action he undoubtedly prevented the enemy overrunning the position and by containing them formed the base for the counter attack which restored the position.


James received a temporary promotion to Captain on the 10th September 1944, and continued to serve in the Army after the war. He was posted to the South Staffordshire Regiment (Territorial Army) in July 1953, before retiring in July 1956 as a Major, having earned the Efficiency Medal during the previous year.


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