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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium. Photograph Murray Biddle
Person Details
Old Leake Boston Lincolnshire
Percy Edward was the son of John Richard and Susannah Richardson (née Hill). His father John Richard was born in Old Leake, Lincolnshire, in 1846 (A/M/J Boston), the son of John and Martha Richardson, he was baptised at Old Leake parish church on 28 June 1846. His mother Susannah was born in Old Leake in 1857 (O/N/D Spilsby). John and Susannah were married in 1880 (J/F/M Boston Lincs.) and had ten children, all born in Old Leake (reg. Boston) and baptised at Boston St Botolph: Emma Elizabeth b. 22 August 1880 bap. 3 October 1880; Edith Annie b. 1881 bap. 9 November 1881; twins Alice Louisa and Frederick James b. 1883 bap. 21 October 1883; Ada Jane b. 1886 bap. 7 April 1886; Miranda b 1887 bap. 16 November 1887; Henry b. 1890 bap. 9 April 1890; Frances Annie bi. 5 January 1893, Percy Edward b. 1895 (birth reg. Edward Percy) and Thomas b. 2 December 1897 (reg. 1898) bap. 20 February 1898. John and Susannah were living in Old Leake on each census between 1881 and 1911, moving house possibly three times for they were at Common Side in 1881, Common Road in 1891 and then on Station Road in 1901 and 1911 and at the time of their son Frederick's death in April 1916. 1901 was the one census when all ten children were still living with their parents; one of the sons was an apprentice carpenter presumably working with his father who was a carpenter and wheelwright: Emma (20) a dressmaker, Edith (19) and Alice (17) who were pupil teaqchers, Frederick (17) a carpenter's apprentice, Ada (15) a monitress, Miranda (13), Henry (11), Frances (8), Percy (5) and Thomas (3). By 1911 only five children were still living at home: Miranda a dressmaker, Henry a clerk (GNR), Frances who was assisting with household duties, Percy a clerk (GNR) and Thomas who was at school. Their daughters Edith and Alice were boarders at 10 Duke Street, Mansfield; both were assistant teachers in Mansfield schools. They married brothers who lived in Mansfield: Edith to Strawson Lievesley Wilson in 1915 and Alice to Harold Wilson in 1917 (see 'Extra information'). John Richard died on 25 December 1916 (O/N/D Boston). Percy was killed in 1915 and Frederick, who attested in 1916, died at Chatham of meningitis the same year. Their mother completed forms for the army in May and June 1919 listing her sons surviving blood relatives. The following details are from the form she completed in June listing Frederick's relatives: Father: deceased (25 December 1916) Mother: Susannah Richardson, Station Road, Old Leake Brothers: Henry (29) Endcroft Road, Knebworth, Herts; Thomas (21) Station Road, Old Leake. Sisters: Emma Elizabeth Skinner (28) Station Road, Old Leake; Edith Annie Wilson (37) Deansgate Terrace, Old Grimsby, Lincs [prev. Station Road]; Alice Louisa Wilson (35) 5 West Hill Drive, Mansfield [husband's family home], Notts, Ada Jane Dawson (33) Sibsey, Boston, Lincs, Miranda Richardson (31) Station Road, Old Leake; Frances Annie Scaman (26) Sibsey, Boston. Susannah died in 1923 (J/F/M Boston). Emma Elizabeth married Clark Skinner (b. 18 February 1879), a farm worker, at Old Leake on 16 April 1906. In June 1919 she was living with her mother on Station Road, Old Leake. In 1939 she and Clark, a farm worker, were living on Station Road, Common Side, Old Leake. Clark died on 12 April 1946 and Emma on 15 April 1965; her home was still on Station Road. Her sons, Fred and Frank, farmers were awarded probate. Edith Annie married Strawson Lievesley Wilson in 1915 (A/M/J Lincoln). Strawson was the son of Alderman and Mrs Wilson of West Hill Drive, Mansfield, and had been a teacher before he enlisted in the Army. He died of wounds on 21 July 1916; a report of his death in a Mansfield newspaper gave his home address as his parents' home, 5 West Hill Drive, Mansfield, and his wife's address as Station Road, Old Leake. Edith was still living with her mother on Station Road in May 1919 but on the subsequent form her mother completed for the Army in June 1919 she was living at 1 Deansgate Terrace, Old Grimsby, Lincolnshire. Alice Louisa married Harold Wilson, Strawson Wilson's brother, at St Mary Old Leake on 15 October 1917. Harold served in the war in the Sherwood Foresters and was a prisoner of war. In 1919 they were living with Harold's parents at 5 West Hill. Mansfield. Ada Jane married William Henry Dawson in Old Leake parish church on 26 December 1910; they lived in Sibsey, Lincolnshire. Ada died on 9 April 1958; she was then living on Chapel Lane, Sibsey. Henry was living in Knebworth, Hertfordshire, in 1919. He may have married Lucina Woodward in 1915 (J/A/S Boston). Miranda Richardson was living with her mother on Station Road, Old Leake in 1919. Frances Annie married John M Scaman in 1915 (J/A/S Boston). She died on 4 July 1978 (J/A/S Louth Lincolnshire). Thomas married Maggie Stray in 1921 (A/M/J Spilsby Lincs). In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled they were living on Commonside, Old Leake, with their son Fred (b. 27 September 1921) a joiner's apprentice and land worker. Thomas was a butcher's assistant. Thomas died on 9 May 1956 and was buried in St Mary's churchyard, Old Leake.
He was a booking clerk with the Great Northern Railway Company
11 Apr 1915
20
155546 - CWGC Website
2429
Private
1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Percy attested on 8 September 1914 in the Territorial Force (one year's Embodied Service at Home) and was posted to the 1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters. The battalion was drafted to the BEF France, disembarking on 2 March 1915. Percy was killed by a shot to the head on 11 April 1915 and was buried that night in Kemmel Cemetery. The service was taken by the Brigade Chaplain, Rev. TP Hales. The cemetery was renamed Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery (grave ref. E.55). Percy had served in the Army for 217 days, 42 days at the front. He qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC: Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery (extract): 'Kemmel Chateau was north-east of Kemmel village and the cemetery was established on the north side of the chateau grounds in December 1914. It continued to be used by divisions fighting on the southern sectors of the Belgian front until March 1918, when after fierce fighting involving both Commonwealth and French forces, the village and cemetery fell into German hands in late April. The cemetery was retaken later in the year, but in the interval it was badly shelled and the old chateau destroyed.'
Percy's brother, Frederick James Richardson, attested on 15 January 1916 and was posted to the Army Reserve on 16 January. He was mobilized on 22 March 1916 and posted to the 1st Provisional Coy. Royal Engineers (108889 Sapper) at the Royal Engineers Depot, Chatham. He was admitted to Fort Pitt Military Hospital, Chatham, on 6 April 1916 having been unwell for some weeks beforehand and died of cerebral spinal meningitis and pneumonia at 9pm on 20 April 1916. He was buried in Fort Pitt Military Cemetery. Memorial: Calvary Cross, St Mary's churchyard, Church Road, Old Leake, Boston, Lincolnshire - Frederick J Richardson and Percy Edward Richardson Two of Percy's brothers-in-law died in the war. Edith Annie married Strawson Lievesley Wilson (second lieutenant 15th Bn Sherwood Foresters) who died of wounds in France on 21 July 1916 and Strawson's brother John (second lieutenant Sherwood Foresters) was killed in France on 21 March 1918. (See records on this Roll of Honour) Boston Guardian, 24 April 1915: ’The Roll of Honour. Pte. P Richardson Sherwood Foresters ‘A’ Company. Letter of Condolence from Commanding Officer to Parents. 'Last week-end the sad news arrived at Old Leake of the death in the trenches of Private Percy Richardson (Sherwood Foresters ‘A’ Co), one of the gallant young volunteers from the village. The notification from the War Office was received on Friday evening by his parents, Mr and Mrs John Richardson, of Station-road. Sincere sympathy for them in their sorrow is expressed by all in the village. 'Prior to joining the Colours, Private Richardson was employed as a clerk on the GNR at Sutton-in-Ashfield. He volunteered in September, joining the Sherwood Foresters, and underwent training at Braintree and Luton. Of fine physique, standing well over 6ft in height, and showing a smart adaptability in all his military duties, gaining first-class distinction as a marksman at Luton, he was speedily singled out for transference from ‘E’ Coy to ‘A’ Company (this company showed heroic bravery at the capture of Neuve Chappelle), and at the end of February he was drafted to the Front. That their son had no opportunity of visiting them before leaving for France – in fact he was never home after enlisting – now adds greatly to the bitterness of his parents’ grief. 'The brief message from the War Office which left Mr and Mrs Richardson in suspense as to the circumstances surrounding the sad tragedy has now been followed by fuller details from his Commanding Officer, whose letter, received on Monday night by Mr and Mrs Richardson, brings the comforting knowledge that their son had no lengthy suffering – death being instantaneous, and also that he was buried in the military cemetery. 'The letter is as follows: April 13th, 1915 Dear Sir, I am very sorry to have to tell you that your son was shot in the head while in a working party in the trenches on the morning of April 11th, and died at once. These things are inevitable in war, but I want you to feel how sorry I am for you in this trouble which has come upon you, Your son has died for his country, and that is the great consolation you must have … I attended his funeral at the military cemetery here on Sunday night. The service was taken by Capt. The Rev. TP Hales, our Brigade Chaplain. In all sympathy, believe me, yours very truly, JH Fowler, Lieut.-Colonel’ [killed in action Hohenzollern Redoubt, 15 October 1915] 'On Sunday evening, during the service in the Wesleyan Chapel, touching reference was made by the Rev. S Rathmell to the noble sacrifice Private P Richardson had made for his King and Country. Also, during the Sunday School in the morning, the boy having been a scholar there, the teachers and class-mates were deeply moved when the superintendent spoke of the noble example Private Richardson had set before them in giving his life for others.’ (britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter & Sutton Times, 30 April 1915: ’Sutton Soldiers Killed in Action. Private P Richardson. Though not a Suttonian, Private P Richardson, who lodged at Forest Side, and was previous to enlistment engaged as a booking clerk at the Great Northern Station – was well known in the town. His home was at Old Leake, near Boston, and he was connected with the ‘A’ Company Sherwood Foresters. He had been in the trenches during the last three weeks, and was shot through the head.’ (britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) His personal property was returned to his father and comprised: watches, pipe, shaving brush, identity disc, razor, comb, knife clasp, knife pen, patent lighter, Imperial Service Badge,(-)1/2. tamps. collar stud, purse, 1 holdall, 1 handkerchief Registers of Soldiers’ Effects: Payments were made to his father John in 1915 and then to his mother Susannah in 1919 (John had died in 1916). Boston Guardian, 20 October 1917: 'Marriages: Wilson-Richardson. On the 15th inst., at St Mary’s Church, Old Leake, by the Rev. WS Brindley, Corpl. Harold Wilson, Sherwood Foresters, third son of Alderman and Mrs Wilson, Sherwood Foresters, third son of Alderman and Mrs Wilson, of Mansfiel, to Alice Louisa Richardson of Old Leake.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Boston Guardian, 20 October 1917 (extract): ‘Marriage. On Monday at the Parish Church, the marriage was solemnised of Corp. Harold Wilson, 8th Sherwood Foresters, third son of Alderman and Mrs John Lievesley Wilson, West Hall Drive, Mansfield, with Miss Alice Richardson, third daughter of Mrs and the late Mr John Richardson, Station-road, Old Leake. The Vicar (the Rev. WS Brindley) officiated. Mr Thos. Richardson (brother) gave away the bride, Miss M [Miranda] Richardson (sister) being bridesmaid. Cadet John Wilson, of Mansfield (groom’s brother), was best man. Presentation. Miss AL Richardson, whose marriage to Private Harold Wilson, of the Sherwood Foresters, took place on the 15th inst., at Old Leake Church, was the recipient of a modern Sheraton clock, subscribed for by the surveyor and the whole of the staff in the office of the Surveyor of Taxes, Boston, where Miss Richardson is employed, and in which office she is held in high esteem. The presentation took place on Friday last and was suitably acknowledged by the recipient.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on

Photos

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium. Photograph Murray Biddle
    Percy Edward Richardson - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium. Photograph Murray Biddle
  • Photograph published in the Boston Guardian, 24 April 1915. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
    Percy Edward Richardson - Photograph published in the Boston Guardian, 24 April 1915. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)