Private Richard Kelliher

Service number QX20656
Birth Date 01 September 1910
Birth Place Ireland: Munster, County Cork, Ballybranagh
Death Date 28 January 1963
Death Place Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, Heidelberg
Final Rank Private
Service Australian Army
Units
Places
Conflict/Operation Second World War, 1939-1945
Gazettes Published in London Gazette in 1943-12-30
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1943-12-30
Description

Richard Kelliher (1910-1963) was born in Ireland and migrated to Australia in 1929. He was a labourer in Brisbane before enlisting in 1941. Sent to the Middle East, he transferred to the 2/25th after the Syrian campaign. The battalion returned to Australia the following year, then took part in the fighting in the Owen Stanley Range and at Gona. Kelliher spent the first half of 1943 in hospital with malaria, before returning to Papua.

A month later Kelliher was involved in fighting near Heath's plantation. When several of his platoon, including a section leader, became casualties, Kelliher, on his own initiative, raced forward hurling grenades, killing some of the enemy until forced back. Then he seized a Bren gun, ran to within a short distance, and silenced the enemy in the post. His final action was to rescue the wounded corporal, saving his life.

Kelliher returned to Australia, still suffering spells of malaria, and was discharged in 1945. He took up work as a gardener in Melbourne.

Kelliher was awarded the Victoria Cross, service medals for the Second World War and the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal.

Rolls

  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    2/25th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    Second World War, 1939-1945
    Rank
    Private
    London Gazette
    30 December 1943 on page 5649 at position 1
    Commonwealth Gazette
    30 December 1943 on page 2837 at position 1
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Conflict
    Second World War, 1939-1945

Timeline

Date of birth 01 September 1910
Date of honour or award 13 September 1943 Awarded the Victoria Cross for action at Nadzab, New Guinea whilst serving with 2/25 Battalion, 25 Brigade, 7 Division as a Private.
Date of death 28 January 1963