The AIF Project


Regimental number1817
Place of birthNorwich, Norfolk, England
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationMarket gardener
AddressOff Waverley Road, Black Flat, Shire of Mulgrave, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Height5' 10"
Weight168 lbs
Next of kinFather, H C Richardson, off Waverley Road, Black Flat, Shire of Mulgrave, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed for 12 years in the Royal Marine Artillery.
Enlistment date30 November 1914
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll23 November 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name6th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/23/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A18 Wiltshire on 13 April 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll6th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Age at death from cemetery records34
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Harry and Louise RICHARDSON, 21 Rueben Avenue, Brooklyn, Wellington, New Zealand. Native of Bere Alston, Devonshire, England
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Taken on strength, 6th Bn, Gallipoli, 27 May 1915. Promoted Corporal, 29 June 1915. Wounded in action, 14 July 1915 (sprained ankle); admitted to 1st Australian Stationary Hospital, Lemnos, 15 July 1915; discharged to duty, 19 July 1915. Admitted to Australian Casualty Clearing Station, Gallipoli, 14 August 1915, and transferred to Mudros (influenza, gastritis); transferred to Cottoners Hospital, Malta, 20 August 1915; transferred to Ghain Tufficha Camp, 2 September 1915. Embarked for England, 2 October 1915; admitted to 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, 10 October 1915. Tried by District Court Martial, Weymouth, 18 March 1916, on charges of (1) striking a soldier, in that he at Monte Video Camp, Weymouth, on the 10. 3.16, struck at No. 2270, Pte, W.H. Warnett, 6th Battn, two blows on the face; (2) drunkenness, in that he at Monte video Camp, Weymouth, on the 10.3.16 was drunk. Pleaded guilty to both charges; sentenced to be reduced to the ranks. Commenced return to Egypt, 25 March 1916; disembarked Alexandria, 5 April 1916. Returned to England (date not recorded: mid June 1916); disembarked Plymouth. Promoted Temporary Sergeant as from 10 May 1916. Found guilty by District Court Martial, 18 May 1917, of (1) being out of bounds; (2) drunkenness: sentenced to be reduced to the ranks. Found guilty, 27 June 1917, of being absent without leave from 2200, 14 June, until apprehended at 0940, 17 June 1917: awarded 168 hours' detention, and forfeited 20 days' pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 16 July 1917; rejoined 6th Bn, 31 July 1917.

Reported missing in action, Belgium, 4 October 1917; Court of Enquiry, 28 November 1917, confirmed fate as killed in action.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Mother wrote from 250 Gloucester St, Christchurch, New Zealand, to Base Records, 23 June 1920: 'May I ask if the Govt. will allow me assisted passage to France to see my son's resting place?' Base Records replied, 9 July 1920: 'I am directed to inform you with regret that it has not been found practicable for the Government to provide assisted passages from this country for those proposing to visit the graves overseas, but consideration is being given to the feasibility of securing the provision by some patriotic organisation of the necessary hostels for the accommodation of visitors at a reasonable charge.'

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