Victoria Cross UK VIEW SOURCE
Place of migration
Migrated to/Born in Australia

Richard Kelliher was born in Tralee, County Kerry on the 1st of September 1910. 

In 1829, Kelliher emigrated to Australia with his sister Norah. There he picked up work where he could as a travelling labourer. 

In 1941 he enlisted in the military forces. He spent time in Syria before being deployed to New Guinea where he was court martialled for running from battle, though he claimed that he was sent by his commander to convey a message. Since his battalion were killed there was nobody to corroborate his story. Although he was convicted of cowardice, Kelliher, detrmined to prove his innocence, succeeded in having the conviction quashed and returned to active service. 

Kelliher was deployed to New Guinea once more where he was involved in action at the Battle of Lae. His platoon came under heavy fire from a concealed machine gun. Without any instruction, Kelliher rushed forth and launched two grenades at the gun. He then went back to safety to get a gun before returning to destroy the machine gun. He returned to open fire a third time to rescue wounded men. 

Kelliher had proven once and for all that he was not a coward. He was awarded the prestigious Victoria Cross for his gallantry and selfless bravery at the Battle of Lae. 

Kelliher managed all this while suffering terrible health issues. He was fighting his own battle with both typhoid and meningitis before the war ever began. In 1944 he was deemed medically unfit for service and was discharged accordingly. 

He returned to Australia where he worked as a gardener in Melbourne. 

He died on the 28th of January 1963 after suffering a stroke. 



Additional Information
Date of Birth 1st Sep 1910 VIEW SOURCE
Date of Death 28th Jan 1963 VIEW SOURCE

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