Richard Raymond Willis VC
Name: Richard Raymond Willis
Conflict: First World War
Gazetted: August 24, 1915
Place/date of birth: Woking, Surrey/October 30, 1876
Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): Captain (later Major)
Date of bravery: April 25, 1915
London Gazette citation [joint citation]:
His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned Officers, Non-commissioned Officer and man, in recognition of their most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in the field: —
Captain Richard Raymond Willis, 1st Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers.
No. 1293 Serjeant Alfred Richards, 1st Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers.
No. 1809 Private William Keneally, 1st Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers.
On the 25th April, 1915, three Companies and the Headquarters of the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, in effecting a landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula to the West of Cape Helles, were met by a very deadly fire from hidden machine guns which caused a great number of casualties. The survivors, however, rushed up to and cut the wire entanglements, notwithstanding the terrific fire from the enemy, and, after overcoming supreme difficulties, the cliffs were gained and the position maintained.
Amongst the many very gallant Officers and men engaged in this most hazardous undertaking, Captain Willis, Serjeant Richards and Private Keneally have been selected by their comrades as having performed the most signal acts of bravery and devotion to duty.
Click here to see full Gazette entry.
Other decorations: N/A
Place/date of death: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire/February 9, 1966
Grave/memorials: Cheltenham Cemetery and Crematorium, Gloucestershire
Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased privately, 2010
Current location of VC: Displayed on rotation at The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, Imperial War Museum