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Richard Raymond Willis
13 October 1876 – 9 February 1966
Place of birth Woking, Surrey
Place of death Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Resting place Cheltenham Crematorium
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service Retired 26 November 1920
Rank Major
Unit The Lancashire Fusiliers
Battles/wars Mahdist War
World War I - Battle of Gallipoli
Awards Victoria Cross

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.


Early career

Willis from Woking, Surrey, was educated at Harrow 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.

World War I

He was 38 years old, and a Captain in the 1st Battalion, 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.

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Fusilier Museum Lancashire (Bury, England).


External links

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