RICHARDSON, Wilfrid Ernest

2711, Private, Wilfrid Ernest RICHARDSON
Aged 18

2nd Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Saturday, 24th April 1915

Wilfrid Ernest RICHARDSON was born in 1896 in Potton (Biggleswade Q3-1896 3B:355), son of Frederick William and Ellen RICHARDSON (née BENSON).

1901 census...Aged 4, he was at Hogg Hill, Potton, Beds with his father Frederick W RICHARDSON [38] auctioneer/furniture dealer, born Potton; his mother Ellen [42] born Worcester; brothers Herbert [11] and Frederick [6]; sister Edith [10]. All the children were born in Potton.

1911 census...Aged 14, he was at the East Anglian School, Bury St. Edmunds. His widower father; brothers Herbert and Frederick Stanley; sister Edith Mary were still at Hogg Hill, Potton. One child had died, his mother had died in 1906.
NOTE.. On the census form there is another Wilfred Richardson, age 12 born Forest Gate, he was Wilfrid John Henry Richardson, the cousin of Christopher NICKELS, and was not a war casualty.

He enlisted in Biggleswade. His medal index cards states he died of wounds, if so, then his grave must have been lost in later fighting. Of the 12 men of the 2nd East Surreys to die that day, one is buried at Bedford House, Ypres, 10 are named on the Menin Gate in Ypres, only Wilfrid is named on a memorial in France.

The war diary has:-
ZONNEBEKE area - At 4 am several trench mortars opened on trenches of battalion and continued all day, doing much damage to trenches. Enemy reported to be vacating their front trenches and to be placing boards across them. Trenches were again heavily shelled.
Company of 8th Middlesex Regiment from Zonnebeke reinforced and were placed in support trench. Casualties 2nd Lieut. R.C.Rottman and ten other ranks killed, thirty nine wounded. Very quiet night.

Although it is not unusual for CWGC figure not to match war diary figures, the discrepancy here may be that Wilfrid was actually being employed elsewhere, just across the border in France, when he was wounded and died.

photo: Rodney Gibson

Wilfrid Richardson is commemorated on the Le Touret memorial, panels 18 and 19

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details