Richard Wallwork, Sergeant R C Travis, VC, DCM, MM, c.1920
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One of New Zealand's most decorated soldiers for bravery, Richard Charles Travis (1884-1918) was born Dickson Cornelius Savage at Opotiki. He moved to Southland prior to enlisting with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in August 1914. He saw limited action at Gallipoli, and transferred from the Otago Mounted Rifles to the 2nd Battalion, Otago Infantry Regiment in 1916. During the Battle of the Somme Travis was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for "conspicuous gallantry", killing several German snipers impeding the advance of his Battalion. Travis was promoted to sergeant and given command of the Otago Battalions recently formed sniper and observation section, and his further actions led to the award of the Croix de Guerre in February 1918 and the Military Medal in May 1918. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross "for most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty" in destroying an impassable obstacle, capturing two enemy machine-gun posts and shooting down 11 enemy soldiers on 24 July 1918.
Travis was killed by shellfire on 25 July 1918, and was buried at Couin, France.
Oil, 1218 x 858mm
Western Front; Battle of the Somme
Medals: Victoria Cross, Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Medal, Croix de Guerre (Belgium)