A WIDNES man who served in the second world war will be remembering his father on Sunday who was honoured for his bravery in France.

Charles Henry Chadwick, from Great Sankey was awarded the Medaille Militaire which recognises acts of bravery on the battlefield.

A keen yachtsman, Charles won the Easter Saturday race on the River Mersey five times.

He held army certificates in as a first-class gun layer, marksman, telegraphist, signaller and swimmer and a second-class education certificate.

Educated at Sankey day school, Charles left aged 13 and worked as a plasterer.

Included in the original Warrington Guardian article about Charles’ medal honour, he said: “It is the most beautiful medal I have ever seen. It is the greatest honour the French can bestow on a non-commissioned officer, if I were the King of England I couldn’t be any prouder than I am now. I am the hero with both French and English people.”

He goes on to explain that when he returns it home it will be a ‘proud day for me and my family’.

Charles, who served in the Royal Garrison Artillery, explains that he received the medal for his bravery and devotion to duty at Ypres, Belgium and during the Battle of Loos in France.

He said: “My life has been in the balance dozens of times - through shot and shell.”

In 1911 he joined the Peninsula Barracks in Orford and trained in Gibraltar. In 1915 he was called to serve in the Great War.

His son William Chadwick, 93, lives in Widnes and served in the second world war. He has two grandchildren and four great grandchildren and will be marking Remembrance Sunday at his local church service.

Between the wars, Charles moved to Widnes where William was born.

William was awarded an equivalent award to his dad for his service in the second world war and was made a French chevalier.

When the war finished, William was called back to the Isle of White and was given clean clothes and a few extra days of leave. He was then ordered to prepare boats for Japan but as they were ready to go, the atom bomb was dropped.

William was then told to go to the Channel Islands to empty any German ammunition into the sea.

He said: “There was a huge amount of ammunition, brand new assault rifles, pistols, bombs, rockets and the guns from the forts.”

William was waterborne during the war and did everything from delivering mail to teaching people to fire at targets and trained the Canadians in Scotland for the D-day landings.