At the end of the 1st World War, German U-boat UB91 surrendered to the Royal Navy and later it's 105mm Gun was presented to the town of Chepstow by King George V.   This honour was in recognition of the bravery of William Charles Williams Royal Navy, Victoria Cross. 

He was raised in Chepstow and joined the Royal Navy Boys Service in Portsmouth in 1895. He was promoted to Boy First Class in 1896, Seaman in 1898 and Able Seaman in 1901. During his Naval career, he served on eighteen different ships.  In 1910 he returned to civilian life and served in the police force in Newport, St Mellons and Risca, and also worked at the Newport steel works.  But in August 1914 was recalled to serve in the Great War.

On April 25, 1915 a major landing was part of an invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula by Allied forces.  With the support of the guns of the Royal Navy, a British division was to advance 6 miles along the peninsula on the first day and seize the heights overlooking the beaches. Williams was serving in HMS River Clyde that, together with a number of transport barges towed behind her, carried 2,000 soldiers. 

The plan was to come alongside another ship that would have already been beached to form a jetty from which to disembark the soldiers in the shallow waters.   But that other ship was not able to reach the shore.  As they approached the beach, heavy enemy fire began and this continuously raked the entire beach.  Two companies of soldiers emerged from the side of the River Clyde and tried to reach the shore but they were cut to pieces, suffering 70% casualties. 

The Captain of the River Clyde led Williams and others outside to manhandle three of the transport barges into place to form a bridge to the shore.  Under intense machine gun and shell fire Williams stood alongside the commander of the HMS River Clyde, chest deep in the sea holding a rope keeping the drifting barges together and helping two battalions of soldiers to disembark onto the beach.

Able Seaman Williams, who was 34 and single, died at Gallipoli on 25 April, 1915 performing an act of bravery. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.   The official entry in the Register of Victoria Cross holders’ states: "Williams was eventually dangerously wounded and later killed by a shell whilst his rescue was being effected by his commander who described him as “the bravest sailor he had ever met".

 On Thursday 25 April the Chepstow Royal Naval Association will hold its annual ceremony to commemorate the bravery of William Williams’ Victoria Cross.  Members of that brave seaman's family will be present at the service to be held at the war memorial adjacent to the famous gun. 

In Chepstow there are two memorials to WILLIAMS; a painting showing his bravery at Gallipoli hangs in St Mary's Church as well as the gun from the German submarine that was presented by King George V. 

Having read the eulogy, the President of the Chepstow RNA, Commander Christopher Wilson, Royal Navy, spoke of our world of turmoil, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Libya, in Sudan, and around the globe where we continue to ask our sailors, soldiers and airmen to stand into danger for causes that we believe to be right.   He stated that within the many acts of bravery that are demonstrated every day by our Servicemen there are occasionally the most exceptional of personal brave deeds.  Acts of valour.  Able Seaman Williams had demonstrated his totally unselfish commitment to those soldiers for whom he was responsible.