William Wilding was born on November 28 1919 in Diss in Norfolk - one of 11
children. He joined the Royal Navy when he was 16 years of age (based at
Chatham Dockyard [Pembroke]) and served until 1959. He was a Far East Prisoner of War for over 3 years after the Li Wo was blown up by Japan.
Whilst in the prison camp he got beriberi and malaria. Also while at the
camp he met Lady Mountbatten and he made her a St George's Flag using a white
handkerchief with strips torn of and dyed with blood to make the cross.
Many years later (1953) when he was stationed in Malta, Lady Mountbatten (whilst visiting his ship) remembered him and invited him and my
mum to coffee at her house. He left the Navy as a Petty Officer.
He married Joyce Fuller (born 1929) in March 1952 and had 3 children - Petula born 1953, William born 1956 and Janet born 1967.
When he left the Navy he became a publican of The Rose in The Valley (1959-1972) and then The
Kings Arms (1972-1973). Both pubs were in Chatham.
He died in 1973 after a illness.
Below is a list of other ships my dad sailed on during his service with the
HMS Ramilies - April 1937-August 1937
HMS Sheffield - August 1937-January 1938
HMS Medway - July 1938-December 1939
HMS Ganges - February 1946-October 1948
HMS Tyne - January 1949-January 1949
HMS Woolwich - January 1949-February 1950.
He also served on HMS Vernon, Neptune, Whirlwind and Shackleton in the 1950's. Any missing years was spent at Dockyards or as Prisoner of War.
He was awarded a 'Mention in Despatches' for his part in the action
which led to the sinking of HMS Li Wo.
contact Andy (webmaster) with any information.