Bill Creech was born on the 28th March 1928 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, one of a family of five children whose father died when Bill was seven years old. On leaving school Bill trained as a centre lathe turner and worked at it until he volunteered for the Army at the age of seventeen and a half years old.

Tpr W Creech
Tpr W Creech

Deferred until 3 January 1946 he did his basic training with 90 Primary Training Centre followed by RAC Corps training (as a Dvr/Mech) with 59th Training Regiment at Catterick and subsequently allocated to the 12th Royal Lancers.

Between July 1946 and January 1948 Bill had various postings in the UK including Tidworth and the RAC Depot at Bovington.

He re-badged to The 4th Hussars Stationed at Colchester on the 5th February 1948. At this time The 4th Hussars were on standby for a three year posting to Malaya (Far East), they were being made up to strength with an influx of regular members of other Regiments within the RAC.

He joined Recce Troop and sailed with the Regiment aboard HMT ‘Dilwara’ on the 20 August 1948 for Active Service. He was selected as the Troop Leader’s Driver and the troop duties took them to many places within the Malay States.

I had the good fortune recently to have lunch with an old friend who been Bill’s Troop Sergeant and he described Bill as a very conscientious, sober soldier, an excellent driver whose vehicle and equipment were always up to a high standard.

Well respected by his fellow soldiers and a good all round sportsman he played football, volleyball and badminton. He was offered promotion but declined to accept it, he was quite content to do this job well and that was his forte.

The Regiment returned to the UK in December 1951 having been overseas for three years three months and Bill was discharged to the Reserve in April 1953 with an exemplary record.

He was awarded the GSM with Clasp Malaya.

In civilian life Bill returned to his pre-service job as a centre lathe turner in the aircraft industry until his retirement. He married Kath in October 1953 and they had a son, Glen (who lives in Australia) and a daughter Kira and between them seven grandchildren. Bill enjoyed gardening, watching sport and wildlife. As a couple they used to go dancing frequently.

His health had not been good for some time, he had developed Alzheimer’s along with other problems and died of an aneurism on the 1st November 2009 aged 81.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. Malaya 1948-51