Bevin Boy William recalls his years of war service

YOU didn’t have to be on the beaches of Normandy or in the jungles of the Far East to be a wartime hero.

William Margerison was one of the many young men chosen randomly to work as a Bevin boy, performing his military service in the coal mines, helping to fuel the nation at war.

Today William is a resident in Sheffield charity Sheffcare’s Knowle Hill Residential Care Home in Beighton, where he has been telling staff about his wartime experiences and regretting the fact that he never had the opportunity to serve on the front line.

Almost 48,000 Bevin Boys performed vital and dangerous service in coal mines throughout the UK.

And unlike those who had served in the military, Bevin Boys were not awarded medals for their contribution to the war effort and official recognition by the British government until 1995.


William’s wife Renee worked in the Sheffield steelworks during the war and the couple both eventually received medals from the government in recognition of their essential contribution to the war effort.

“William’s daughter proudly keeps these medals as memories of the hard and courageous work her parents did 75 years ago,” said Knowle Hill Deputy Manager Dawn Blacklaws.

“Everybody at Knowle Hill is extremely proud of William and recognises the many years of danger and back-breaking hard work he experienced.

“His was a very different war but the sacrifices he faced made a vital contribution to Britain’s fight against Fascism.”

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