Walter Potter Ritchie VC
Name: Walter Potter Ritchie
Conflict: First World War
Gazetted: September 9, 1916
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