William Henry Johnson was born in Worksop on 15th October 1890. His father was William Johnson, a house painter. He worked at Manton Colliery, living at 1 Shelley Street and was a keen bell-ringer at Worksop Priory Church. He enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters (The Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) on 9th February 1916, serving in the 1/5th Battalion.
He was awarded the Victoria Cross for 'conspicuous bravery' at Ramicourt, France, on the 3rd October 1918. He had single-handedly charged and captured enemy machine gun posts under heavy fire, during which he was seriously wounded. The VC was presented to him by George V in the ballroom of Buckingham Palace on 29th March 1919. In March 1920, he was awarded the French Medaille Militaire. Sergeant Johnson died in Arnold on 25th April 1945 and is buried in Redhill Cemetery, Nottingham.
The portrait was painted and presented by Alderman Herbert Smith, Chairman of the Library Committee. Currently on display in Worksop Library, the portrait was previously on show in the old library building on Memorial Avenue.
Where to see this painting?
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