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Captain Richard Wallace Annand, VC, DL (5 November 191424 December 2004) was an Englishmarker recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to Britishmarker and Commonwealth forces.


"Dickie" Annand was 25 years old, and a Second Lieutenant in the 2nd Bn., The Durham Light Infantry, British Army during World War II when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 15 May 1940, near the River Dylemarker, Belgiummarker, Second Lieutenant Annand inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy with hand grenades. He was wounded, but after having his wound dressed, he made another attack on the enemy the same evening. Later, when the position became hopeless and the platoon was ordered to withdraw, Lieutenant Annand discovered that his batman was wounded and missing. He returned at once to the former position and brought him back in a wheelbarrow before fainting from loss of blood.

This was the first Victoria Cross won by the British Army in World War II. He later achieved the rank of Captain.

Richard Annand died on December 24, 2004. His service uniform and his Victoria Cross are on display in the Durham Light Infantry Museum.

For most conspicuous gallantry on the 15th-16th May 1940, when the platoon under his command was on the south side of the River Dyle, astride a blown bridge. During the night a strong attack was beaten off, but about 11 a.m. the enemy again launched a violent attack and pushed forward a bridging party into the sunken bottom of the river. Second Lieutenant Annand attacked this party, but when ammunition ran out he went forward himself over open ground, with total disregard for enemy mortar and machine-gun fire. Reaching the top of the bridge, he drove out the party below, inflicting over twenty casualties with hand grenades. Having been wounded he rejoined his platoon, had his wound dressed, and then carried on in command.Richard Annand's platoon sergeant said later "Mr Annand came to me at platoon headquarters and asked for a box of grenades as they could hear Jerry trying to repair the bridge. Off he went and he sure must have given them a lovely time because it wasn't a great while before he was back for more".

During the evening another attack was launched and again Second Lieutenant Annand went forward with hand grenades and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. When the order to withdraw was received, he withdrew his platoon, but learning on the way back that his batman was wounded and had been left behind, he returned at once to the former position and brought him back in a wheelbarrow, before losing consciousness as the result of wounds.

In 1956 Annand became a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Durham.


Medal entitlement of Captain Richard Annand - 2nd Bn, Durham Light Infantry

  • Victoria Cross
  • 1939 - 45 Star
  • Defence Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • War Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal ( 1977 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ( 2002 )
  • Army Emergency Reserve Decoration ( ERD ) & Bar

External links


  1. Second Lieutenant Richard Wallace Annand, 2nd Bn, The Durham Light Infantry, River Dyle, Belgium, 15 - 16 May 1940. London Gazette, 23 August 1940

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