Sgt. Richard Charles Travis, VC DCM MM

Is your surname Savage?

Research the Savage family

Sgt. Richard Charles Travis, VC DCM MM's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Dickson Cornelius Savage

Birthplace: Opotiki, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Death: July 25, 1918 (34)
Rossignol Wood, France
Place of Burial: Couin New British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France
Immediate Family:

Son of James Whitford Savage and Fanny Theresa Savage
Brother of Helen Frances Savage; Matilda Mary May Savage; Flora Ross; Charles James Savage; Margaret Jane May Savage and 3 others

Managed by: Charlene Newport
Last Updated:

About Sgt. Richard Charles Travis, VC DCM MM

Richard Charles Travis VC DCM MM (6 April 1884 – 25 July 1918) was a New Zealand soldier who fought during the First World War and was posthumously decorated with the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to Commonwealth forces. Prior to serving in the military Travis worked as a farm hand and horse breaker and was known as being a bit of trouble maker to the extent that he led a rather transient existence after leaving home at the age of 21. During the war he served briefly at Gallipoli before being sent to France where he fought in the trenches along the Western Front, earning a reputation as scout and sniper. He was killed by shellfire a day after performing the deed that led to him being awarded the Victoria Cross.

Travis was born as Dickson Cornelius Savage on 6 April 1884 in Opotiki, New Zealand. He was one of nine children, being the fifth in the brood. His father, James Savage, a former member of the New Zealand Armed Constabulary, had migrated to New Zealand from Ireland and was employed as a farmer. His mother, Frances (née O'Keefe), had originally come from Sydney, Australia.


The Victoria Cross was a posthumous award. An extract from the "London Gazette," dated 27th Sep., 1918, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. During 'surprise' operations it was necessary to destroy an impassable wire block. Serjt. Travis, regardless of personal danger, volunteered for this duty. Before zero hour, in broad daylight and in close proximity to enemy posts he crawled out and successfully destroyed the block with bombs, thus enabling the attacking parties to pass through. A few minutes later a bombing party on the right of the attack was held up by two enemy machine guns, and the success of the whole operation was in danger. Perceiving this Serjt. Travis with great galantry and utter disregard of danger, rushed the position, killed the crews and captured the guns. An enemy officer and three men immediately rushed at him from a bend in the trench and attempted to retake the guns. These four he killed single handed, thus allowing the bombing party on which much depended to advance. The success of the operation was almost entirely due to the heroic work of this gallant N.C.O. and the vigour with which he made and used opportunities for inflicting casualties on the enemy. He was killed 24 hours later when, in a most intense bombardment prior to an enemy counter-attack, he was going from post to post encouraging the men." The D.C.M. was awarded "For conspicuous gallantry in action. He went out by himself and accounted for several enemy snipers who were firing at a working party. He has on many previous occasions done very fine work."

His Victoria Cross is held at the Southland Museum, Invercargill, New Zealand.


  • Wikipedia contributors, 'Richard Travis', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia


  • Rank: Serjeant
  • Service No: 9/523
  • Date of Death: 25/07/1918
  • Age: 34
  • Regiment/Service: ALIAS
  • Awards: V C, D C M, M M, Twice Mentioned in Despatches
  • Grave Reference: G. 5.
  • Additional Information: (See D.C. SAVAGE, the true family name). Son of the late James and Frances Theresa Savage, of Otara, Opotiki, New Zealand. Known as "Prince of Scouts," and "King of No Man's Land." Also served in Egypt and Gallipoli. Awarded Croix de Guerre (Belgium).


view all

Sgt. Richard Charles Travis, VC DCM MM's Timeline

April 6, 1884
Opotiki, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
July 25, 1918
Age 34
Rossignol Wood, France
Couin New British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France