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Military Monday - Percival Richardson. Royal Engineers Part I

I've recently added my 2x Great Uncle Percival Richardson to Lives of the First World War . I've already posted a few posts abo...

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Monday, 14 September 2015


I've recently added my 2xGreat Uncle Percival Richardson to Lives of the First World War.

I've already posted a few posts about Percy, but hadn't got round to adding his details to the site. Luckily Percy's service records are extant unlike many others so I have been able to find out much more about his time as a sapper with the Royal Engineers.

Percy enlisted in Nottingham on the 9th January 1915 and was assigned to the Royal Engineers. During his initial training at Hallfield Camp in Chatham, Kent he was AWOL twice, once for three days and then for five days. He was fined and confined to barracks for both offences.

On the 11th September 1915 he landed in France with 97 Field Company, which made up part of the 21st Division. There isn't anything else noted on his record until the 6th February 1916, but it is possible to follow his route.






Once the Division had gathered, they endured lengthy forced marches to Loos, for 'The Big Push' where they saw action on the 26th September, losing around 3,800 men. Further reading about the battle can be found here.







The next entry in Percy's service record finds him in a military hospital back home in Newark, suffering from an inguinal hernia and septic sore throat. He remained in Newark from the 21st of February to the 26th of June 1916. During this time he overstayed his leave three times, again resulting in fines and confinement to barracks. On the 24th of June 'when on active service disobeying in such manner as to show a wilful defiance of authority, a lawful command given personally by his superior officer in the execution of his office.'  That found him confined to barracks for fourteen days.

In July 1916 Percy rejoined his Unit where, fortunately for him, he had missed the Battle of Albert (part of the Somme offensive) and the Battle of Bazentine Ridge.

Between July 1916 and the next entry in Percy's records in June 1917 he would have been involved in various battles in the Somme area. Firstly the Battle of Flers-Courcelette which saw the first use of tanks on the battlefield, Morval 25th to 28th September, and Le Transloy 1st to the 18th October 1916.


Battle of Flers-Courcelette. 21st September 1916.


Link to Part II
Link to Part III
Link to Part IV

Picture Credit: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205078825

Friday, 4 September 2015




After finding my 2x Great-Uncle Percival Richardson's marriage to Edith Waby in 1922, the next step was to find a death certificate for him.

I used FreeBMD again, restricting the results to between 1930 and 1975, which fortunately gave only one possible match, in 1965.

When the certificate arrived, it showed that Percival and Edith were living at 72 Belton Road, Hyson Green, Nottingham and that Percival was a retired joiner.



Percival had died in the City Hospital, Nottingham of a number of complaints:
1a Pulmonary oedema
b Congest. left ventricular failure
c Coronary thrombosis
d Uraemia from prostate hypertrophy

I'm not in any rush to Google them to find out the gory details!

I've already searched FreeBMD for any possible children without any success, so it's probable that they didn't have any.

I may try a search of the local newspapers to see if there are any announcements which would help round out the picture of this family.

Previous Posts:
Wedding Wednesday.
Wedding Wednesday Follow-Up.