Veteran of the Korean War Sgt William Speakman-Pitt opens building in his name

An 85-year-old veteran of the Korean War who was awarded the Victoria Cross has attended a ceremony to open a soldiers’ accommodation block in his name. The multi-million-pound building at Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, is named after Sergeant William Speakman-Pitt.

Sgt Speakman-Pitt, from Altrincham, Cheshire, was the first person to be awarded the Victoria Cross by the Queen after fighting in Korea in 1951.

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He attended the opening ceremony of the accommodation block at the garrison’s Vimy Barracks where a plaque was unveiled by Lieutenant General Andrew Graham, Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Sgt Speakman-Pitt was a member of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers when he led a series of charges at United Hill during the Korean War, breaking up enemy attacks. He was wounded, but enabled his company to withdraw safely.

Speaking about being honoured with the new accommodation block, Sgt Speakman-Pitt said: “It’s fantastic really. They deserve it. It’s wonderful.”