THE end of the Great War 100 years ago this Sunday has brought the memories flooding back for Redditch man David Millward.
David’s father Harry Millward survived four years of the First World War and was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry on November 11, 1917, exactly one year before Armistice Day.
“He was born, raised and retired in Edward Street near the town centre,” said David.
“He ran two shops there, an off-licence and a grocery store and didn’t retire until well into his 70s.
“He looked after his customers too; everything went ‘on the book’, put off ‘til pay day, when people would come in and settle up. It was an early form of credit.”
Harry served in the 8th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment, a Territorial unit.
War was declared on August 4 1914 and a week later the call went out for volunteers to serve overseas and nearly all the men stepped forward, forming what was to become 1/8th Battalion.
They spent the rest of the year training in Essex getting ready for war.
Their old companies were also re-organised; Evesham and Pershore amalgamating to form ‘A’ Company, Upton and Malvern forming ‘B’ Company, Bromsgrove and King’s Norton ‘C’ Company and Droitwich and Redditch ‘D’ Company.
“I think my father won the Military Medal for rescuing an officer under fire,” said David, aged 77.
“He was a very quiet man who never talked about the war and you would not have thought he did the things he did.”
Harry spent many years nursing his mum and married late.
He died in his 70s in his beloved Redditch and David and his family are justly proud of his legacy.