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Harry Bertram Richardson


Harry Bertram St. Clair Richardson was the eldest of two sons born to Edwin St. Clair and Laura Richardson (née Loughhead). Edwin and Laura were married at Batley Carr Parish Church, in West Yorkshire, on December 24, 1878. Edwin (aged 22) had been born in Melbourne, Australia, and was employed as a Salesman in the woollen industry at the time of his marriage. Laura had been born in 1855 in Lockwood, Huddersfield. Harry was born in Batley Carr in the autumn of 1879 and was baptised at the Parish Church where his parents had married on October 22, 1879.

Early Life

By the 1881 Census, Harry and his parents were living on Henry Street, in Dewsbury. Harry’s brother, Frank Leslie Richardson, was born in the autumn of 1882 and also baptised at Batley Carr, on November 15, 1882. At some point after Frank’s birth, the family moved to 3 Shay Terrace, in Batley, where they were recorded in the 1891 Census. Edwin was employed as a Bookkeeper and Commercial Traveler. Both Harry and Frank were in school.

In the 1890s, the family crossed the Pennines, and by 1901 were living at 6 Devonshire Road, in Blackpool. This move was almost certainly as a result of Edwin’s upward career progress; he was at this date the Cashier for a mineral water manufacturer. Harry had begun his teaching career, employed as an Assistant Teacher and his brother Frank was a Clerk.

A further move took the family to London and in 1911, they were living at 72 Danby Street, in Peckham. Edwin was back working in the woollen industry; Harry was employed as a Teacher by the local Board of Education and Frank was working as an Auctioneer and Valuer.  

Chester College

Harry attended Chester College and left in 1903 as a qualified teacher. Harry was employed as a teacher by the London Local Board of Education, at Sumner Road School.

Military Service

Harry served with the 12th (Service) Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry. This Battalion had been formed in September 1914, in Hamilton. They trained initially at Borden, and then in March 1915, completed their training in Romsey. The Battalion landed at Boulogne on July 10, 1915.

Harry was already a Sergeant. After landing, the Battalion spent their first day in a camp at Ostrohove, near Boulogne, and then to billets in Louches. On July 15, they marched to Arques; the following day, they continued their march to Fontes. On July 17, they marched to Allouagne, where they spent time familiarising themselves with the local trench system and conditions. By the beginning of August, they were taking their place on the front line.

By the middle of August, the Battalion was on the front line in Maroc. That section of the line was relatively quiet and most of their time was spent improving and cleaning their trenches. On August 15 they recorded their first casualties: two men slightly injured by shell fire.

Lest We Forget

On September 21, the artillery bombardment leading up to the Battle of Loos began, and the Battalion moved up to front-line trenches at Quality Street. On September 25, the battle began, and the following day, September 26, Sergeant 19153 Harry Bertram St. Clair Richardson was killed in action.

Post Mortem

Sergeant Harry Bertram St. Clair Richardson was entitled to the 1914–1915 Star and the British War and Victory medals, all of which would have been sent to his father, Edwin. His outstanding pay and War Gratuity were also sent to his father. Harry is remembered at the Loos Memorial.