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Richards Walter H.P, Captain KIA 3/5/1915

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    Posted: 14 Feb 2015 at 13:06

RICHARDS,*Walter Hayes Pickering Captain Chatham Bn. Royal Marine Light Infantry R.N. Div.

Born: Fishponds, Stapleton, Gloucester (20/5/1881) *Resided: Bristol *Commissioned: 1/9/1899.

*Age: 34. Date of Death: 03/05/1915 Cause: Killed in action (attack on Razor Back, Monash Valley, ANZAC Beachhead).

*Military service: Capt Richards was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the R.M.L.I. on 1/9/1899; promoted Lieutenant on 1/7/1900 and Captain on 13/12/1909. He served with the Royal Marine Guard which conveyed the crews of the Russian cruisers blown up at Chemulpo and served at the coronation of King George V in 1911 (Coronation Medal 1911). From 1901 to 1903 he served with the China Fleet onboard HMS "Goliath" and HMS "Glory" and from December 13th 1909 to 1914 he served as Adjutant of the Chatham Division RMLI. He served with the Chatham Bn. at Ostend, Dunkirk & during the Defence of Antwerp 1914; he served with the M.E.F. from 6/2/15 until his death.

*Awards: Mentioned in Despatches by General Sir Ian Hamilton 5/8/1915 (he was shown as Captain and Adjutant) London Gazette 5/8/1915. He was also Mentioned in the Despatches of the G.O.C. Royal Naval Division on 16/6/1916.

*Family notes: Son of the late Rev. Robert Edward (died 1902) and Katherine Maud (née Pickering) Richards (died 1892) Richards, Rector of Hinton Parva, Wiltshire; husband of Mary Florence Clarges (née Pearson) Richards (Born Mallow, Co. Cork. Married in Ireland, 5/71911). Captain Richards had two sons, Edward Percy Pickering Richards (born and died 1912) and John Richards (Born 1914, died 1999).

Religion: Church of England. Trade/profession: Captain Royal Marine Light Infantry (1911 English Census).


RICHARDS – Killed in action at the Dardanelles on May 9th, 1915. Captain W. H. P. Richards, R.M.L.I., Chatham Battalion, Royal Naval Division, son of the late Rev. E. E. Richards, Rector of Hinton Parva, Wilts.

                                                                                                             The Cork Weekly News, 22 May 1915.


Other notes: Captain Richards widow received his 1914 Star on 23/6/19 and his M.I.D. clasp was issued on 13/1/22. The G.O.C. Royal Naval Division in his despatches dated 16/6/1915 stated that "Captain Richards led a most gallant attack up a precipitous hill at Gaba Tepe & met his death by MG fire upon reaching the enemy's position 3/5/15."

Will notes: Captain Richards Probate records (dated 15 /12/1915) reads as follows “Richards Walter Hayes Pickering of the Royal marine Barracks Chatham, Captain R.M.L.I., died 10 May 1915 in the Dardanelles, killed in action. Probate London, 15 December to Devonshire Penrose Hawkes Pearson surgeon and William Richardson solicitor.”

Census notes: The 1911 English Census shows William (aged 29), serving as a Captain in the Royal Marine Light Infantry at, Royal Marine Barracks And Melville Hospital Barracks, Chatham. The 1901 English Census shows William (aged 19), serving as a Lieutenant with the Royal Marine Light Infantry, at Chatham. The 1891 English Census shows the Richards family (residing at, Hinton Parva, Wiltshire) as follows; Robert E. (Born Ireland, Rector of Hinton Parva, aged 59) and Katherine M. (aged 44) and their children, Robert C. (aged 17), Kathleen (aged 15), George H. (aged 11) and Walter (aged 9).

Special notes; Captain Richards is not listed on the IWM records. The CWGC only show his initials on his record nor does the CWGC show his Mention in despatches.

Grave/Memorial: Panel 2 to 7. Helles Memorial.

Other Memorials: Captain Richards is commemorated on the Great War Memorial, St Fin Barres Cathedral, Bishop Street, Cork; he is also commemorated by a stained glass window in St. Swithun’s Church, Hinton Parva (Little Hinton), Wiltshire. He is also named in Roll of the sons and daughters of the Anglican Church clergy throughout the world and of the naval and military chaplains of the same who gave their lives in the Great War, 1914-1918 (Published 1922). He is commemorated on a gravestone in Ardamine churchyard, near Gorey, County Wexford, which reads “To the glory of God and in loving memory of Walter Hayes Pickering Richards Captain and Adjutant of the Royal Marine Light Infantry (Chatham) aged 33 years who was killed in action in the Dardanelles on May 3rd 1915 whilst gallantly leading his men he was the fourth son of the Reverend Robert Edward Richards.” (Note: This graveyard is the family graveyard of his mother’s family Katherine Maude Richards (nee Pickering)).

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