Painting of Richard Travis VC

Sergeant R C Travis, VC, DCM, MM, painted by Richard Wallwork, circa 1920. Richard Travis won a posthumous Victoria Cross (VC) for destroying an impassable obstacle and capturing two machine guns at Rossignol Wood on 24 July 1918. He was killed by shellfire the next day. This painting is based on a photograph of Travis thought to have been taken in 1916.

About the artist

Englishman Richard Wallwork (1882–1955) moved to Christchurch in 1911 to take up a teaching position at the Canterbury College School of Art. He and his wife Elizabeth (also an artist) both enjoyed long and successful careers in New Zealand. A member of the Canterbury Society of Arts for 42 years, Wallwork was director of the Canterbury College School of Art from 1928 until 1945. Richard Travis was one of two New Zealand VC winners he was commissioned to paint following the First World War. The other was Samuel Forsyth.


National Collection of War Art, Archives New Zealand
Reference: AAAC 898 NCWA 455
Artist: Richard Wallwork
Permission of Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga must be obtained before any reuse of this image.

How to cite this page: 'Painting of Richard Travis VC', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 20-Dec-2012

Community contributions

06 Jan 2014

Dick Travis was a local of the Ryal Bush community and worked at the Ryal Bush Dairy factory at the time that he went to war. His name features on all 3 memorial/honours board within the district. The community also has a magnificent photo of Dick in the community centre.

What do you know?