Capt. 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 forces.

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 Richards
and Frank Edward Stubbs. Willis later achieved the rank of Major

Cheltenham Borough Cemetery
Crematorium Chapel


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"