WHAM, James Howie

Known as: 
Jimmy
Rank: 
Sergeant
Unit/Base: 
9 Commando
12 Commando
Regiment/Corps: 
Royal Scots
Service: 
Army
Number: 
3065655
Honours & Awards: 
Born: 
1923
Died: 
1997
Place died: 
Largs, Ayrshire
Age: 
74
Private (Acting Corporal) James Wham was awarded the Military Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished service on 19 March 1944 in Italy. Final rank attained Sergeant.
Recommendation
"Ref Map-Italy, 1/25,000 Sheet IV SE
This man was a member of an assault team that took part in the Commando attack on wadi in Square 8230 on 19 March 1944. At last light the Commando position was heavily counter-attacked, and the whole unit became involved in fierce hand-to-hand fighting.
During a critical period on one flank, Wham seized a Bren L.M.G. from a wounded member of his troop and advanced onto the crest of a ridge from which the Boche was grenading our positions. This single-handed attack was largely responsible for the repulse of the first enemy wave of attack.
During the final withdrawal of the Commando, all Bren L.M.G.'s were left to cover the evacuation of casualties and the first phase of the withdrawal. During this period heavy enemy fire was directed into our positions, and a burst of L.M.G. fire smashed Wham's Bren and wounded him in the arm. He immediately manned another Bren L.M.G. whose gunner had been killed and continued holding his rearguard position despite his wound, until ordered to withdraw.
Throughout the whole operation, Pte Wham set a splendid example of determination and coolness while under heavy fire, and his complete disregard for his wound and devotion to duty was of the highest order."

Commando Association newsletter 14 
1952, "Manager of the Jubilee Bar in Largs, Ayrshire."
Commando Association newsletter 59 
1974, "How nice it was to receive just prior to Christmas, a case of Scotsmac from the distributor, and our comrade, Sgt. Jimmy Wham, MM (12 & 9 Commandos), of Largs, Ayrshire. A note accompanying the gift stated that it could be used for raffle prizes and anything furthering the interests of the Association. We were also permitted to open a bottle or two at Head Office and it can certainly be said that we have taken a liking to Wham's Dram ! "
Commando Association newsletter 105
1997 Obituary "Sgt. James H. Wham MM (12 Cdo. & 9 Cdo.) of Largs, Ayrshire."
 
Sources
[1] London Gazette 36615, page 3376.
[2] National Archives file WO373/6/567.
[3] Commando Association newsletters 90, 105, and 106.
[4] Registers of Deaths Scotland 1997  Largs.
[5] Registers of Births Scotland 1923  Eastwood.
 
Notes
First name on [2] shown initially as James, crossed out and replaced as John.
All references on [3] and [4] show first name as James.
 

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