South Shields Local History Group

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Annand, Richard “Dickie” VC

Early Life

Richard Annand was born South Shields on the 5th November 1914. He was educated at Pocklington School, East Yorkshire.  When he left school he first worked at the National Provincial Bank in South Shields.

Military Career

In 1933 he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and in 1938 he was commissioned as a second lieutenant of the Durham Light Infantry.

Victoria Cross

The London Gazette reported his heroism as follows:

“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.”

The batman Private Joseph Lakeman Hunter was captured and died of his wounds.

Because of his wounds he was evacuated back to England and became an instructor.

This was the first Victoria Cross awarded to a member of the British Army in the Second World War.

He received the Victoria Cross from King George VI at Buckingham Palace on 3 September 1940.

Later Life

In 1948, Annand became Personnel Officer at Finchale Abbey Training Centre for the Disabled, near Durham.  He was a founder member of the British Association for the Hard of Hearing which became Hearing Concern in 1963 and was also involved in the founding of the Durham County Association for the Disabled.

He married Shirley Osborne in 1940, they did not have any children

Richard Annand died at Durham shortly after his 90th birthday on 24 December 2004.

Annand, Richard Wallace ‘Dickie (Oral history) | Imperial War Museums (

Lieutenant Annand, VC – YouTube

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