Lt General Sir Richard Vickers KCB CVO OBE: Former Director General of the Churchill Fellowship

Lt General Sir Richard Vickers KCB CVO OBE: Former Director General of the Churchill Fellowship

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of Sir Richard Vickers who was Director General of the Churchill Fellowship from 1983 to 1993.

Sir Richard Vickers in 2023 when he contributed to an oral history of the Churchill Fellowship. Photo credit: Robert Hall Download 'Cern Abbas - Sir Vickers (7 of 22)'

Sir Richard will be remembered with great affection by many Churchill Fellows for the huge contribution he made during his time as Director General, not least in reading over 22,000 applications and awarding 1,128 Fellowships.

He was renowned for his unwavering enthusiasm and dedication to supporting Fellows and the causes they cared about throughout his term of office and beyond.

Julia Weston, Chief Executive, said, “I know Churchill Fellows will want to join me in sending our condolences to Sir Richard’s family and friends. He was a wonderful person, and I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the contribution he made to the Churchill Fellowship.

Sir Richard will always be remembered for the avid interest he showed in every application and proposal received and the importance he attached to knowing each Fellow individually. Over the years I have heard many affectionate recollections of his approach and the interest he showed in the work of Fellows.

I would like to share a memory that, for me, captures how remarkable he was. At our 50th anniversary celebration in 2015 at Blenheim Palace, he noted in his programme, which we had sent him in advance, all 'his’ Fellows, as he referred to them, from his time as Director General. He and his wife, Gaie, stayed at the event until he had spoken to each and every one, he was 85 at the time.”

During his time at the Churchill Fellowship, Sir Richard introduced several key initiatives which were the catalyst for lasting change. These included bringing the Fellowship into the digital age by introducing the first database and reducing the length of Fellowship travels to make them more manageable and therefore more inclusive.

We were very fortunate that Sir Richard recently took part in the recording of an oral history for the Churchill Fellowship, and in his typically understated way, he summed up his relationship to the Churchill Fellowship: “I suppose I realised that outside the army, there was a vast array of activity that made the country tick. And that organisations like this small one, are very important to helping that ticking. And it was thoroughly worthwhile being involved with it. And particularly being involved with the many nice - nice is the wrong word - able, everything, Fellows that it attracted, and the work that they did.”

Lt General Sir Richard Vickers KCB CVO OBE (21 August 1928 – 6 February 2024)

Prior to his role at the Churchill Fellowship, Lt General Sir Richard Vickers had a distinguished military career during which he received a number of awards. These included being made a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO) in 1959 and a Commander of the Order (CVO) in 1998. He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1964, promoted to an Officer of the Order (OBE) in 1970, and to a Knight Commander of the Order (KCB) in 1983.

In retirement Sir Richard was Gentleman Usher to Queen Elizabeth II from 1986 until 1998 and Director-General of the Churchill Fellowship from 1983–1993.

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