Richard Frank Board

Date of birth: 9.2.1890
Place of birth: Runcorn
Service No.:
Rank: Captain
Regiment / Division: Royal Engineers
Battalion: 479th Field Convoy battalion
Died: 30 October 1918, aged 28 years
Buried: Bermerain Communal Cemetery, France (Row B, Grave 11)

Life before the War

Richard was the only child of Richard and Evangeline Board (nee Parker), who married in Shepton Mallet in 1889.

Both Richard and Evangeline were born in Shepton Mallet in 1858. Unfortunately, there must have been complications during Richard’s birth because Evangeline died on 17 February 1890 in Runcorn. Richard passed away in Poole in 1927.

Richard Frank married Jeanette May Borlace in Southampton on 1 March 1912. She had been born in Donegal in 1893, and she passed away in 1966.

They had 2 sons……

  1. Richard Frank   b. 1912 Southampton   d. 1982
  2. Peter Vivian   b. 1915 Orsett, Essex   d. 1979 Southampton   Married Barbara J. Tidbridge in Southampton in 1942.

War Service

The 479th Field Coy. was attached to the 61st Division when it arrived in France in May 1916. It was in almost constant action through the rest of that year, losing many men in mostly defensive actions. The division took a well-earned rest until March 1917, when it pursued the Germans back to the well-fortified Hindenburg Line.

In November 1917, the division was involved in hard fighting around La Vacquerie. During March 1918, the division was holding the forward zone of defences in the area NW of Saint Quentin when the Germans launched a ferocious attack. Over the next 10 days many lives were lost, as the division retreated back over the Somme.

An exhausted division was moved back to a supposedly quieter zone near Bethune. Unfortunately the Germans launched the second phase of their offensive in April very close to Bethune, resulting in more casualties. After rebuilding, the division helped the advance in October 1918 around Valenciennes.

Richard would have perished during the actions involved in pushing the enemy out of France. His date of death is only 12 days before the Armistice was signed. The south-west corner of the cemetery holds the 41 graves of soldiers buried by their comrades in the latter half of October and the beginning of November 1918.

The majority of graves belong to soldiers from the Northumberland Fusiliers, who perished on the 24 – 25th October.

Richard’s headstone reads: “We miss him most who loved him best.”

Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 11/08/2015
Updated:

If you have any more information about the above named person, or any other name listed on this website or Southampton’s Cenotaph, please email Southampton.cenotaph@hotmail.co.uk, or telephone 023 8086 9599 and we will contact you.

Many thanks.

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