Lieut.-Colonel Walter Raleigh CHICHESTER, O.B.E., D.L., J.P.
Commanded the Depot Worcestershire Regiment from 1918 to March 1919.
Commanded the 8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment from 1921 to 1923.
Walter Raleigh Chichester was educated at Priory Park College, Bath. He joined the 2nd Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment in 1891, and served with it in Ireland, where the Chichesters had estate interests. He also served in the South African War (1900-02) with that battalion, and was invalided home to assist in the formation of the 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. He returned to South Africa in 1907 in temporary command of the 3rd Battalion.
Early in the Great War 1914-18, by which time he held his majority, he went out with the 3rd Battalion as part of the small Expeditionary Force, and was one of the first Worcestershire casualties. In August 1914, he and Major C. V. Beresford, also of the Worcestershire Regiment, who married a sister of Sir E. G. Chichester, of Raleigh, Devonshire, were wounded by the same shell at Le Cateau. Both were taken prisoner and Colonel Chichester had his right leg amputated by a German surgeon.
Until February 1915, he remained a prisoner in occupied parts of France, and then he was one of the few officer-prisoners to be exchanged for German officers who were held prisoners here. Afterwards he was employed on the Staff, and then in command of an Army School of Instruction. In the later stages of the War, Colonel Chichester took over command at Norton Barracks, and the appointment was a very happy one, not only because it brought him to command the Depot of the Regiment which he had so splendidly served, but because it meant that he became associated there with his brother, the late Major J. Chichester, who had retired from the Army some years before, but had gone back to the Depot to render valuable service there.
Colonel Chichester remained at Norton until March 1919, when he retired with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
For his military service he was awarded the Order of the British Empire.
Lieut.-Col. W. R. Chichester
But he had not quite finished, for later he took over command of the 8th Battalion, with whom he was very popular.
He did much good work for the Prisoners of War Fund during the last war, for the entertainment of repatriated prisoners, and for recruiting for the Women's Force (the W.A.A.C.S.). For several years he had also been the Honorary County Secretary of the S.S. & A. Families' Association, and on the Committee of the Worcestershire Regiment's Old Comrades' Association.
Colonel Chichester was a keen sportsman, a good polo player, and represented the Regiment when the 2nd Battalion won the cup at Malta. He was a keen cricketer, and a good man to hounds; even after losing his leg he hunted and took part in field sports and games—notably archery.
In 1932 Colonel Chichester was elected to the County Council as representative of Ombersley, and he continued to serve the County body until his death. He was a Justice of the Peace in 1921, and also a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Worcester.
Colonel Chichester was a staunch Roman Catholic, and there is a public Oratory attached to The Grange. The Chichester family have had this privilege since the French Revolution, when they gave hospitality to refugee priests. Colonel Chichester came of a family who had kept the Catholic Faith all through the times of persecution—a family who rejoiced in the proud motto, "Steadfast in faith." He was deservedly popular with all ranks of the Battalions with which he had served, and his courage, devotion to duty, and unswerving loyalty to his friends were his outstanding characteristics.
Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Raleigh Chichester, O.B.E., D.L., J.P., died on ? December 1940 at his home, The Grange, Claines, aged 70. He was buried at the Catholic Church, Droitwich.