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Bugle helps reunite medal of WWII Blackheath sailor with his family

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: December 23, 2013

By Dan Shaw

  • George Woodcock (standing second left) playing football in the Royal Navy

  • George Woodcock and Joan Pearson

  • George's 1932 boxing medal

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BACK in November, in Bugle 1106, Hazel Pearson placed an appeal to trace the relatives of a young Blackheath sailor killed in the first year of the Second World War, Albert G. Woodcock, known as George.

The reason for the appeal was that Hazel had discovered some old photographs and a boxing medal that belonged to George among the effects of her late father-in-law, Ron Pearson.

The pictures showed Ron's sister Joan with her boyfriend of the time, George Woodcock.

George served aboard HMS Royal Oak and lost his life when the battleship was torpedoed by a German u-boat on 14th October, 1939, as she lay at anchor at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands. George was aged just 19 and in all 833 men died, including over 100 boys aged 15-17.

Thanks to her appeal in the Bugle Hazel has been able to contact George's relatives. She writes:

"I was contacted by Beryl Stevens, whose father Harry was the youngest brother of George Woodcock.

"Beryl was 1 year and 10 months old when her father signed up. She can't remember him going off to war but she remembers his home coming. Harry, the youngest of five brothers was so moved by losing his brother George that he signed up himself in October 1939.

"I visited Beryl on Remembrance Sunday and gave her George's boxing medal. She says she will give it to her younger brother Bruce, who will put it with his dad's other medals.

"There is no boxing history in the family but Bruce was named after the Boxing heavyweight champion Bruce Woodcock."

Beryl also gave Hazel this picture of George Woodcock playing football with his shipmates. He originally sent the picture to his brother and wrote on the back "Bring on the Albion, we'll slaughter them!"

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