Richard Raymond Willis
Richard Raymond Willis was an
English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious
award for gallantry
in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth
He was 38 years old, and a Captain
in the 1st Bn., The Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army
during the First World War when the following deed took place for which
he was awarded the VC.
On 25 April 1915 west of Cape
Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey, three companies and the Headquarters of the
1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, when landing on W Beach, were met
by a very deadly fire from
hidden machine-guns which caused a large number of casualties. The survivors,
however, rushed up 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.
Captain Willis was one of the
six members of the regiment elected for the award, the others being
Cuthbert Bromley, John Elisha Grimshaw, William Keneally, Alfred Joseph
and Frank Edward Stubbs. Willis later achieved the rank of Major
Cheltenham Borough Cemetery
Commemorative plaques in the chapel cloisters
The commemorative plaque to
Major Richard Willis, VC, 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, who died
in Cheltenham on 9th February 1966.
He was awarded the Victoria Cross for outstanding bravery on 25th April
1915 at the landing at Cape Helles,
Gallipoli. Full details of the award can be viewed here.
He is not a native Cheltonian
being born in Woking in 1876.
This is the newspaper clipping Griff
brought to Blackpool for me.
You will see that it refers to"The Royal lancashire Fusiliers"
but there is nothing we can do about it
(we have informed the newspaper of their error !)
Maj Richard Raymond Willis VC
1st Bn Lancashire Fusiliers
Victoria Cross, Queen's Sudan
Medal (1896-98), 14-15 Star, BWM, VM + MID(missing in the photo), Delhi
Dunbar Medal (1911), KG VI 1937 Coronation Medal, QE II 1953 Coronation
Medal, Khedives Sudan Medal (1896-1908) + clap: "Khartoum"