William Alfred Richards

Date of birth: 1893
Place of birth: St Mary’s, Southampton
Service No.: 260210
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment: Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry
Battalion: Not known
Died: 23rd August 1917 aged 24 years
Death location: Third battle of Ypres


Life before the War
William was the oldest of 6 known siblings born to William and Amelia Jane, nee Brown, who married in Southampton in 1891.  One sibling is not known so it is highly probable that they died in infancy.

The whole family was born and bred in St. Mary’s, with William senior being born in 1862.  He died in the city in 1940.  Amelia was born in 1871 and she passed away in the city in 1940.

William’s 5 younger siblings – 4 sisters and 1 brother – were:

Emily Esther   b.1895 and d.1918 Southampton.
Married Bertie H Curtis in Southampton in 1918.

Amelia Annie Beatrice   b.1898 and d.1978 Braintree, Essex.
Married Alfred J Shelley in Southampton in 1920.

Nellie Louisa   b.1905 and d.1996 Newport, IOW.
Married George D Lewis in Southampton in 1931.

Edith Frederica   b.1907 and d.1994 New Forest.
Married Frederick P Wood in Eastleigh in 1927.

Frederick Henry   b.1909 and d.1977 Southampton.
Married Christina W Tanner in Southampton in 1934.


War Service
The 6th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry was raised in Bodmin in August 1914 and joined the 43rd Brigade in the 14th Division.  After training at Aldershot the Division landed at Boulogne on 22nd May 1915.  They fought at Hooge, being the first division to be attacked with flamethrowers, and they fought around the village of Bellewaarde.

In 1916 the Division was on the Somme, seeing action at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette and the Battle of Delville Wood.

William perished during the Third Battle of Ypres. The initial attempt to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success, but the main assault north-eastwards (which began at the end of July 1917) quickly became a dogged struggle against a determined opposition and the rapidly deteriorating weather.

William is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.


Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 13th May 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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