Six Victoria crosses were awarded to soldiers of the 1st Battlaion of the Lancashire Fusiliers for heroism during the landings at W Beach: Captain Cuthbert Bromley, Corporal John Grimshaw, Private William Keneally, Sergeant Alfred Richards, Sergeant Frank Stubbs, and Captain Richard Willis.
At W Beach, the Lancashire Fusiliers encountered a beach that was 320 metres long, minefields and barbed wire entanglements. The Turkish defender withheld their fire until the British soldiers attempted to land from open boats. Under withering fire, the British soldiers forced their way through the barbed wire and minefields and overwhelming the defenders. The battalion suffered 533 casualties, over half its strength.
All six men were nominated initially by Major Bishop (the battalion’s commanding officer). However, only three men were initially recognised in August 1915. Under the terms of the original 1856 Royal Warrant establishing the Victoria Cross, up to four VCs could be awarded for a single action by a ballot of the soldiers involved in that action. Therefore Captain Richard Willis was selected by the officers, Sergeant Alfred Richards by the NCOs and Private William Keneally by the private soldiers. Continued efforts were made to recognise the after three men. Eventually these calls bore fruit with the publishing of the next three VCs in 1917. However, two of the remaining men had been killed by this time: Captain Cuthbert Bromley died when his troopship was later sunk, while Sergeant Frank Stubbs was killed on the same day as the landings during an assault on Hill 114.]
Citation for the Victoria Cross: Captain Bromley, Sergeant Stubbs, and Corporal Grimshaw
On the 25th April, 1915, headquarters and three companies of the 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers in effecting a landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula to the West of Cape Helles, were met by 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 Bromley, Serjeant Stubbs, and Corporal Grimshaw have been selected by their comrades as having performed the most signal acts of bravery and devotion to duty.
The London Gazette, No. 29985, 15 March 1917