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For Valour 100 year anniversay 1914-1918

   The 4th. August 2014 will mark the centenary of the
commencement of World War l , (The Great War),
which ended on the 11th of November 1918. The
two words used as the title at this tract, are to be
found inscribed on the highest award of the British
Armed Forces: The Victoria Cross.

   William Harold Coltman (known as Williain or
Bill) was born on the 17th fi November l891
in the village of Rangemore outside the town of
Burton on Trent. He attended the local village
school, becoming a gardener and was known
in his community as a humble rnan. Yet this small
(5ft.4”) unassuming man was later to be described
at the time as the rnosi highly decorated non-
cornrnissioned officer at the British Army. Among
the rnedals awarded to hirn were; Military Medal
and Bar/Distinguished Conduct Medal and Bar
and the highest award at all the Victoria Cross,
each being awarded as a result of: outstanding
bravery, a disregard for personal satety and an
unquestioned devotion to duty.

   The rnost unusual aspect of these distinctions, is
that Bill Coltnan never tired a shot and never used
a gun. Why was this? As a Christian, he became
a ”Stretcher Beater" and while refusing to take life
he would rather go out into extremely dangerous
conditions to save lives, which he often did. As
a Christian, Bill believed one at the best known
Bible verses, John ch.3 v16: : For God so loved
the world that He gave His only begotten Son that
whosoever believeth in Him should not perish,
but have everlasting life. The question might well
be asked, but how did Bill Coltman become a
Christian? \/\/as it by church attendance? \/\/as it
by reaching a high degree ot acceptance before
men? l\lo, it was by acknowledging that betore
God he was a sinner and that God had sent His
Son Jesus Christ, to die on a cross as a sacritice for
human sin, enabling guilty sinners, which by nature
we all are, to be forgiven. This supreme sacritice
now means, that by believing this to be true and
confessing ones personal sin and need ot Gods
salvation, the sinner will be Forgiven and have the
assurance at everlasting life in Heaven, after all
death is not a terminus only a junction.

   Bill continually put his life on the line in no mans’
land, often under intense fire trom the enemy, he
tended the wounded, often having to carry them
on his back to safety, all the time unsure at what
would befall him. While we must remember those
who fought and died tor the freedom we enjoy and
so offen take for granted, it does point us to the
Lord Jesus Christ who 0uit of |ove for guihy sinners
came horn heaven to earth so that  He would give
His We as a sacrifice. While  Bill Coltman has been
described as "N0 Qrdindry man”, and he certainly
was that,, he was only a man, but a man who placed
his faith end trust in the only One through whom
anyone who does what Bill did will be guarenteed
the greatest blessIng of  all —” Eternal Life”.


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