The 1916 war diary of 2nd Lieut. Dick Willis Fleming


2nd Lieut. Richard T. C. Willis Fleming

Richard Thomas Cyril Willis Fleming (1896-1916) was born at Chilworth Manor on 3 August 1896, the second son of John and Violet Willis Fleming. He was educated at Durnford School and Winchester College. He passed for Oxford University, but in March 1915 obtained a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the 1/1st Hampshire Battery of the Royal Horse Artillery.

The Durnford Memorial Book of the Great War, 1914 - 1918 (1922) said of him:

The Battle of Romani was Dick Fleming's first fight, and had it been a football match he could not have entered into it with a greater sense of enjoyment, for he had in him something of the stuff of which the Elizabethan Adventurers were made, and just as suspense did but sharpen his nerve, so did difficulties only brace and steady his effort. His cheerfulness was infectious and irresistible, and it was said of him that nobody worthy of the name of human being could resist the spell which he cast about him. From boyhood he was devoted to country pursuits and had an astonishingly intimate knowledge of wild life, often acquired with a fine disregard of the niceties of the Game Laws. It was his good fortune to serve in a theatre of war which gave his qualities their widest scope, and how great was the position that he won in the affection of the Brigade can be realized from his Colonel's tribute after his death:  "I would rather have lost the battery than lost that boy."

Richard is buried at Kantara War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt.