Richard Raymond Willis
|Richard Raymond Willis|
|Born||13 October 1876|
Woking, Surrey, England
|Died||9 February 1966 (aged 89)|
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
|Years of service||1897-1920|
|Unit||The Lancashire Fusiliers|
First World War - Battle of Gallipoli
Major Richard Raymond Willis VC (13 October 1876 – 9 February 1966) 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.
Willis from Woking, Surrey, was educated at Harrow School and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He was commissioned in 1897, joined the 2nd Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers in India, then was posted with them to the Sudan for the Mahdist War.
First World War
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 Kenealy, Alfred Joseph Richards and Frank Edward Stubbs. Willis later achieved the rank of Major.
His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Fusilier Museum in Bury, Lancashire and, under the auspices of This England magazine, a bronze memorial plaque was unveiled by his daughter at Cheltenham Crematorium in September, 2002.
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - Gallipoli (Stephen Snelling, 1995)