WILLIAM COLTMAN VC, DCM and Bar, MM and Bar is one of the most gallant and least recognized heroes of the First World War. Yet he would have been the last man to have regarded himself as a hero.
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WILLIAM COLTMAN VC, DCM and Bar,MM and Bar is one of the most gallant and least recognized heroes of the First World War. Yet he would have been the last man to have regarded himself as a hero. His gallant and untiring service to others, friend and foe alike, had been carried out with the saving of life as his aim. The debt which he owed to his Lord for his salvation would be worked out in his commitment to the lives of others. His care for the eternal well-being of those around him would be temporarily supplemented by his care for the earthly life of his fellow men in the trenches of France. That he would carry out these tasks with a recurring devotion to duty which staggers us today, would be the logical approach by a man who would do so for his God and his fellow man. The demands of the two were indivisibly linked. In saving the lives of countless victims of war, he would merely reflect the devotion and sacrifice which had led Christ to the cross.
When you finish this account, you will marvel at how this man survived the ordeal of the Western Front. When the average life expectancy for a front-line soldier was between twenty and thirty minutes during an attack, it can only be assumed this man was truly protected by the hand of God during his countless forays into 'No Man's Land'. Bill Coltman would be more hopeful, if alive, that you would marvel at how his Saviour had given all He had to die for him and countless others. Truly this is a record of his salvation, earthly and heavenly.