Korean War Ambush of 12th July 1952 Casualty pair awarded to Private J. Lewis, 1st Battalion, Royal Highlanders - the Black Watch, who was a well known local in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, where was a noted sportsman and played for the Irish Democratic League Club football team. As a member of the battalion’s assault pioneers attached to ‘B’ Company, he was killed in action during an ambush on 12th July 1952, the second man from Oswaldtwistle to being killed during the conflict.
Korea Medal 1950-1953, 1st type obverse; (14473434 PTE. J. LEWIS. B.W.); United Nations Medal for Korea 1950-1955.
Condition: Nearly Extremely Fine.
Together with a Black Watch cap badge.
James Lewis was born on 14th January 1928 in Church, near Clayton-le-Moors, Lancashire, and was educated at St. James’ School in Clayton-le-Moors, and later at Rhyddings Secondary Modern School, Oswaldtwistle, before working in the printing department at Broad Oak Print Work. Having enlisted into the British Army in September 1945, he then saw service as a Private (No.14473434) with the Royal Highlanders - the Black Watch. After initial training in Scotland, he was posted to Germany, where he remained for the next six years. In February 1951 whilst in the NAAFI in Hamburg he met Gracie Fields, and married her shortly afterwards, making their home at 26 Jubilee Street in Oswaldtwistle. In Oswaldtwistle, he was a keen sportsman, particularly as a footballer, and played outside left in the Oswaldtwistle Irish Democratic League Club football team. In Germany he also played for his battalion and distinguished himself by winning a silver cup and several trophies both for football and cricket. He was also a keen swimmer and enjoyed most outdoor games.
However with the ongoing Korean War, on 12th May 1951 he left for Scotland, and was shortly afterwards posted to Korea. As a member of ‘B’ Company of the 1st Battalion, Black Watch, he was one of the trained Assault Pioneers attached to the company. Lewis was killed in action on 12th July 1952 during an ambush. Tributes were paid to Lewis in a number of local papers, and the Irish Democratic League Club flew its flag at half mast. Lewis was also the second Oswaldtwistle man to be killed during the Korean War, the other being Private William George Hillman, Welsh Regiment.