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I feared my husband may not come home after bombing
12:10pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 in News
THE wife of the Cheshire Police chief who lead the response to the Gas Works explosion has spoken of the day she thought her husband may not be coming home.
Chf Sup David Williams was one of the first officers on the scene at Winwick Road following the IRA attack that caused three deafening explosions and a huge fireball at 4am on February 26, 1993.
Anne Williams, aged 66, from Cuddington, said: “He got a call to say there had been an explosion and grabbed a dog patrol officer and went to the site.
“While the dog handler was clearing people from nearby flats, David went onto the gas site and there was another explosion.
“His lads said they had never seen Mr. Williams move that fast.
“He thought his last day had come.
“I was very worried because I didn't see David for three days, but at least I did get him home in one piece.
“His face was burned, like when you get too close to a fire and it goes red.
“He had a crew cut he didn’t have before because the bomb had blown part of his hair off.
“Most bobbies don’t talk about their job but David told me everything.
“He said he was scared to death but laughed about it because you had to, but he never talked about it afterwards.”
The father-of-two, who served as a police officer for 26 years, also lead the motorway pursuit of the IRA gunmen who shot a police officer three times earlier that day.
PC Mark Stoker, aged 25, stopped a car on Sankey Street when he was gunned down by terrorists. He survived the attack.
“David was horrified to be told one of his officers had been shot but he wanted to make sure that no one else was killed,” said mum-of-two Anne.
“He went off to chase this car that had been seen on the motorway.
“The IRA started shooting at the police but he reacted on the situation and didn’t think a bullet that comes through the window could kill him.
“The Warrington anniversary brings back a lot of memories, especially the pride I feel for my husband and all police officers who quietly put their lives at risk to protect us.”
Anne Williams has revealed how husband David’s heroics may even have contributed towards his death.
The father-of two died in 2002, aged 55, when he was rushed to intensive care following a sudden illness.
“Three days later we just switched the machine off,” said Anne.
“The doctor asked me what he did for a living because he said his chest was like he had worked around asbestos all his life.
“It was afterwards I thought could that have been caused by the gas works explosion?
“I’ve moved on from it, because you could drive yourself around the bend thinking about it.”
The couple met at the police training camp in Bruche in 1967 where they were both taking sergeant exams.
They married in 1971 with Anne leaving the force to raise children Mark and Claire.
David moved to police in Warrington as Superintendent in 1989.
In 1993 the grandad was seconded to Ethiopia, spending three years helping to set up the civil service,.
He was awarded the Cheshire Police Authority Commendation as a result.
David worked in the town until retirement in 1997, being promoted to Chief Superintendent.
“I’ve always been proud of David, for what he did after the bombing, and what he did his whole life,” added Anne.