26 August 2007

Victoria Cross: Willis, Richards and Keneally


Captain, 1st Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers

Born: 13 October 1876, Woking, Surrey


Serjeant, 1st Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers

Born: 21 June 1879, Plymouth, Devon


Private, 1st Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers

Born: 26 December 1886, Wexford, Ireland

Joint Citation: On the 25th April, 1915, three Companies and the Headquarters of the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, in effecting a landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula to the West of Cape Helles, were met by a very deadly fire from hidden machine guns which caused a great number of casualties. The survivors, however, rushed up to 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.
Amongst the many very gallant Officers and men engaged in this most hazardous undertaking, Captain Willis, Serjeant Richards and Private Keneally have been selected by their comrades as having performed the most signal acts of bravery and devotion to duty.

(London Gazette Issue 29273 dated 24 Aug 1915, published 24 Aug 1915.)

Captain Willis's medals

Serjeant Richards's medals

Note: Willis, Richards and Keneally were elected under Rule 13 of the Royal Warrant of 29th January 1856. Captain C Bromley, Sergeant E E Stubbs and Corporal J Grimshaw, also of the 1st Bn the Lancashire Fusiliers, were later awarded VCs for their parts in this same action. (Grimshaw originally received a DCM, but this award was cancelled when he was awarded the VC.)

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