Brigadier Charles Pearce Germon WILLS, O.B.E., D.L. (172)

Commanded the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment from July 1945 to June 1946.
Commanded the 9th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment from August 1944 to June 1945.
Commanded the 10th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment from January 1942 to August 1944.

Born 22nd March 1901, son of the late Mr. Charles Germon Wills of Eastwray, Lustleigh, Devonshire. Educated at Newton College he went first to Osborne and then to The Royal Military College, Sandhurst, being commissioned into The Worcestershire Regiment in 1920. He first saw service with the 4th Battalion on The Rhine and then at Glasgow and Belfast and in County Galway.

On disbandment of the 4th Battalion in 1922 he was posted to the 2nd Battalion with which he was destined to serve continuously until 1933, being with the Battalion in Dublin, Dover, on The Rhine, at Plymouth and in Malta. After two years at The Depot at Norton Barracks he returned to the 2nd Battalion in Tientsin in the spring of 1935 moving to India (Sialkot) in 1937. By this time he had become Adjutant (December 1936), a position he continued to hold until after the outbreak of War in September 1939.

After his return home he was posted as Second-in-Command of the 10th Battalion under Lieut.-Colonels Chesney and Burlton, becoming C.O. himself in early 1942. He then commanded the 9th Battalion from July 1944 until the summer of 1945 when he took Command of the 1st Battalion in Germany. After handing over this Battalion to Colonel Robin Tuckey he commanded 12th Infantry Brigade in Greece from the middle of 1946 until he retired in June 1947.

An all-round sportsman, he was a hockey blue at Sandhurst and played for the 2nd Battalion in every year from 1924 to 1933. He was secretary of the Battalion Sports Committee for a number of years from its inception in 1923.

He was an excellent shot himself and as Weapon Training Officer captained the 2nd Battalion Team at Bisley for several years.

Brigadier C. P. G. Wills, O.B.E.

He was present on a number of great 2nd Battalion Regimental occasions including that of Trooping the Colour on 22nd October, 1924, at which Field Marshal the Earl of Ypres took the salute and at The Presentation of New Colours by His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester in 1930.

10th Battalion Worcestershire Officers- Belfast (Oct. 1940)
Left to right: Capt. R. D. Holland, Captain G. P. Griffiths,
Major J. G. Player, Major C. P. G. Wills, Capt. J. H. L. Burnett,
Capt. J. D. Ricketts, Major A. R. Harrison.

He was not only joint Editor of "The Green 'Un," the forerunner of "FIRM," from its first number in November, 1922, until October, 1925, but he was also Editor of its hereditary successor, "FIRM," the Regimental Magazine, from April, 1933, until July, 1934.

He was an outstanding organiser and trainer of men in peace and war and as such was awarded the O.B.E. in 1944. But it was a cruel blow to him when his Battalion as part of the 61st Division did not after all go to France.

Highly successful and respected soldier as he was, perhaps he will be remembered best for his work as Secretary for eighteen years of The Worcestershire Regiments' Association (W.R.O.C.A.).

He took over the old W.R.O.C.A. from the late Sir John Reddie in June 1947 to 31st March 1966, and transformed it to meet the needs of the post-World War 2 era into an organisation representative of all the various Army Units raised in Worcestershire. He encouraged the formation of Branches in many different parts of the United Kingdom as well as overseas in such places as Malta where old soldiers were to be found. These branches, and so far as the County of Worcestershire is concerned, the Rifle Clubs associated with them, are a living memorial to his work. Very many ex-soldiers in need have benefited over the years from the work of the association and have good reason to remember him with affection and gratitude.

He also served as County Commandant of the Army Cadet Force in Worcestershire from 1952 to 1957, as Chairman of the County Cadet Committee from 1959 to 1965 and was the A.C.F.'s Honorary Colonel from 1966 to 1969.

A devout Christian, an active member of his parochial Church Council for many years as well as a Governor of his local school, these were only three of the many other areas in which he sought to serve the community.

For his services in the County of Worcestershire he was made a Deputy Lieutenant in 1955.

During his retirement at his home in Kinnersley, near Severn Stoke, Worcestershire he continued to enjoy his recreations of fishing and shooting and he was never happier than when engaged in one or other of these pursuits.

Brigadier Charles Pearce Germon Wills. "Tiny" after a brief illness at the age of 74, died at Ronkswood Hospital, Worcester on the 28th December, 1975. His funeral took place at Shelsley Beauchamp on New Year's Day 1976. The Church was filled to overflowing. Apart from members of his family (including his brother Brigadier Jack Wills, C.B.E., late Royal Marines), the service was attended by Lieutenant for Worcestershire, Admiral Sir Deric Holland-Martin, many of his fellow Deputy Lieutenants, his former Regimental colleagues and friends from far and wide attended, including representatives from the home branches of The Worcestershire Regiments' Association.

The Service was taken by Canon W. H. S. Davies, formerly his Rector at Severn-Stoke and for many years Chaplain to 7th Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment (T.A.) and to the Army Cadet Force in Worcestershire.

Brigadier 'Tiny' Wills seen here on the far left as the Army Cadets inspection

The address was given by Brigadier Donald Nott, D.S.O., O.B.E., M.C., D.L. All the arrangements for the Service were made by his great friend of many years' standing, Lieut.-Colonel Roy Harrison, T.D., D.L., who had been his Second-in-Command in the 10th Battalion of The Regiment during the War.

Brigadier C. P. G. Wills medal group

Brigadier C. P. G. Wills, O.B.E.