THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT
BURLEIGH Cecil Wills
Commander, Royal Naval Reserve

CITATION
Distinguished Service Order
Gazetted 20 September 1918, p11175
For services to the Auxiliary Patrol between 1 January and 30 June 1918

Mention in Despatches
Gazetted 22 May 1917, p5050

Reserve Decoration
Gazetted 1 October 1916, p9661

AWARDS
Distinguished Service Order
1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal
       Mention in Despatches
Reserve Decoration

NOTES
Born 23 April 1870, Okaihau, Northland, New Zealand
Died 7 December 1940, Plymouth, England

He was the elder son of Captain H.C Burleigh R.N.  He was educated at Christs College, Christchurch and then joined the New Zealand Shipping Co as a cadet as he was determined not to work on the family farm. He transferred to the P&O line and became their golden haired boy when as a junior officer he went on watch in a thick fog, replotted the course, discovered it was drastically wrong and acted swiftly saving the ship from being wrecked.  The family story is that as the ship heeled the lookout yelled "Land ahead !", the soup ended up in the passengers laps and the captain arrived on the bridge white with rage !! Cecil eventually became Commodore of the P&O Fleet.  He served in the R.N.R in 1905 and during WW1 rising to the rank of Commander.  He married late in life and had no descendants.  He died in Plymouth UK on 7th December 1940.

Commanded P&O Merchant Cruiser North Sea patrol

Commodore of the Scandinavian Convoys

Commodore of the P&O Fleet