A SECOND World War veteran from Upper Gornal was laid to rest with a guard of honour from the Royal British Legion.

William Carter, one of the few remaining Black Countrymen to have fought in the war, was accompanied to his final resting place by a full Royal British Legion Guard of Honour at Gornal Wood Crematorium on November 30.

Mr Carter was just 17-years-old when he enlisted in the King’s Shropshire Regiment in 1943, where he served in Normandy, Holland, Belgium and Cyprus before heading to Palestine in 1948.

Dudley News: The Royal British Legion carried out a guard of honour for Mr Carter at Gornal Wood Crematorium.The Royal British Legion carried out a guard of honour for Mr Carter at Gornal Wood Crematorium.

The 95-year-old was part of the congregation at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Bilston Street in Sedgley and a regular member of the All Saints Church friendship group, run by Martin Jones.

Martin bonded with Mr Carter while learning about Sedgley's history in the friendship group and finding out more about his wartime experiences.

Paying tribute to Mr Carter, Martin said: "William's life was a history of the 20th century in a way. What came across most was his kindness and generosity and interest in people. He knew everybody in Sedgley, he was so popular."

Martin attended Mr Carter's funeral this week, which was attended by 20 members of the Royal British Legion from branches across the Black Country, where flags were lowered in the 95-year-old's honour.

Mr Carter was a familiar face in Sedgley and gave talks to pupils at Queen Victoria Primary School about his experience of military service. He was also a regular attendee of the Armistice services at All Saints Church where he proudly wore his war medals.

Mr Carter, who was born and lived in Upper Gornal, was even invited to turn on Sedgley's Christmas lights in 2019, the last switch-on to take place in the town before the pandemic.