- William "Geordie" Williamson joined the army and served
as a dispatch rider with the Royal Artillery. He later made the transfer
to The Parachute Regiment and joined the Defence Platoon of the
Headquarters of 1st Parachute Brigade in Algiers, North Africa. He took
part in Operation Husky, the airborne landings on Sicily. Williamson
served as a PIAT gunner on Sicily. After Sicily he was also involved in
the operation at Taranto, on the main land of Italy.
- On 17 september 1944 Williamson, 23 years old, landed near
Wolfheze. At that time he was a Brengunner with No. 1 Section. He
managed to reach the bridge at Arnhem. He was wounded on 19 september. A
bullet hit him in the face and he lost all of his teeth and the jaw bone
on the left side. As he was carried out of the house, a second bullet
hit him in the shoulder. He lay in the garden for almost 18 hours. Then
he saw some Germans approaching. When they spotted him they threw a
handgrenade. It missed Williamson, but he was still hit by some pieces
of shrapnel in his back. He was captured and brought to the St Elizabeth
Hospital. He ended up in POW-camp Stalag XIb, near Fallingbostel,
Germany. On 16 april 1945 he was liberated from this camp.
- When Williamson returned home he needed extenive plastic surgery to
reconstruct his shattered face and shoulder. His jaw bone was replaced
with bone graft from his hip. Williamson was a member of the
so-called Guinea Pig Club, a group of patients of plastic surgeon
Archibald McIndoe at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, who had
undergone experimental reconstructive plastic surgery.
- In 1946 Williamson married Winnie, who he knew since his childhood.
- Williamson lived at 8 Dunelm Drive, Boldon, between Sunderland and
- In 1994 William Williamson wanted to jump at Ginkel Heath, at the
50th commemorations of Market Garden, and he went in training for the
jump. Unfortunately he was not fit enough to make the jump. He was at
Ginkel Heath though, as seen on the photos below, where he can be seen
together with Price Charles, Prince Bernhard and some other veterans.