b. 03/01/1924 Ulverston, Cumbria. d. 03/03/1945 Meiktila, Burma.
William Basil Weston (1924-1945) was born on 3rd January 1924 in Ulverston, Lancashire, the son of William Arthur Weston and his wife, Rose Yates. His father died suddenly when William junior was just three. On the outbreak of World War II, William was too young to join up, but was eager to do his bit as soon as he was able. In 1942, at the age of 18, he enlisted and was commissioned in the Green Howards (Princess of Wales’ Own Yorkshire Regiment), and was attached as a Lieutenant to the 1st Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment by the end of 1944. Sadly, in late 1944, his mother passed away.
On 3rd March 1945 during the attack on Meiktila, Burma, Lieutenant Weston was commanding a platoon which, together with the rest of the company, had to clear an area of the town of the enemy. In the face of fanatical opposition he led his men superbly, encouraging them from one bunker position to the next. When he came to the last, particularly well-defended bunker, he fell wounded in the entrance. Knowing that his men would not be able to capture the position without heavy casualties he pulled the pin out of one of his grenades as he lay on the ground and deliberately blew himself up with the occupants of the bunker.
Weston was posthumously awarded the VC on 13th May 1945, and was laid to rest in Taukkyan War Cemetery, Rangoon, Burma. His VC was presented to his family later that year, and was held within the family until his nephew, Basil Weston, who lived in Ulverston, decided to present the medal group on permanent loan to the Green Howards Regimental Museum, Richmond, Yorkshire.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: GREEN HOWARDS MUSEUM, RICHMOND, YORKS
BURIAL PLACE: TAUKKYAN WAR CEMETERY, RANGOON, BURMA.
PLOT XX ROW A GRAVE 7.
Mick McCann – Image of the Weston VC Grave in Taukkyan War Cemetery.
Kevin Brazier – Cemetery Map.
Andrew Swan – Image of the Weston VC Medal Group at the Green Howards Museum, Richmond, Yorkshire.