Walter Potter Ritchie VC

Name: Walter Potter Ritchie

Conflict: First World War

Gazetted: September 9, 1916

Service: Army

Walter Potter Ritchie VC

Medal group

Place/date of birth: Glasgow, Scotland/March 27, 1892

Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): Drummer (Drum Major)

Date of bravery: July 1, 1916

London Gazette citation:

No 68 Dmr. Walter Ritchie, Sea. Highrs.

For most conspicuous bravery and resource, when on his own initiative he stood on the parapet of an enemy trench, and, under heavy machine gun fire and bomb attacks, repeatedly sounded the “Charge,” thereby rallying many men of various units who, having lost their leaders, were wavering and beginning to retire.

This action showed the highest type of courage and personal initiative.

Throughout the day Drummer Ritchie carried messages over fire-swept ground, showing the greatest devotion to duty.

Click here to see full Gazette entry.

Other decorations: N/A

Place/date of death: Mayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland/March 17, 1965

Grave/memorials: Bugle on which he sounded the “Charge” is at the Queen’s Own Highlanders Museum, Fort George, Inverness, Scotland

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased privately, 2023

Current location of VC: Displayed on rotation at The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, Imperial War Museum