Private 9915 Frederick Richards

Richards Frederick 96 431x600
Richards Frederick Plaque 96

Killed in Action on Sunday, 3rd June 1917, age 29.
Buried in Grave III. K. 22. at Orchard Dump Cemetery, Arleux-En-Gohelle, Pas De Calais, France.

2nd Bn., Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry. 5th Brigade of 2nd Division.

Son of John and Elizabeth Richards; husband of Annie Parkes (formerly Richards), of Ratcliffe Culey, Atherstone, Warwickshire.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Birmingham, Resident: West Bromwich.

First landed France & Flanders, 1st May 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/269715/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Frederick William Richards registered June quarter 1887 in Dudley.

1891 Census
7 Green Street, Coseley, Staffs.
John Richards (25, General Labourer, born Sedgley), his wife Mary E. (23, born Tipton), and their 3 children: Frederick (4, born Sedgley), John (2, born Sedgley), David (8 months, born Sedgley).

1901 Census
20 The Green, Bolton-on-Deane, Yorkshire.
John Richards (36, Coal Miner - Hewer, born Roseville), his wife Mary E. (33, born Roseville), and their 5 children: Frederick (14, Coal Miner - Pony Driver, born Roseville), John (12, born Roseville), David (10, born Roseville), Henry (8, born West Melton, Yorkshire), and Annie (1, born Goldhorpe, Yorkshire).

Marriage of Frederick W. Richards and Annie Love registered December quarter 1906 in West Bromwich.

1911 Census
16 William Street, Goldthorpe, Yorkshire.
Boarding with John and Mary Wordsworth and their 5 children were:
Fred Richards (24, Coal Miner - Hewer, born Staffordshire), his wife Annie (22, born Staffordshire), and their son: Frederick James Richards (age not stated, born Yorkshire).

Personal Data

After Frederick's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £8/17/8d (8 pounds, 17 shillings and 8 pence); this was paid to his widow, Annie, in October 1917. His War Gratuity was £13/10/0d (13 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to Annie in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Frederick had enlisted in August 1914.

Frederick’s widow, Annie, was awarded a pension of 18/9d (18 shillings and 9 pence) per week, effective from 17th December 1917. A grant of £3 had been paid on 29th June 1917. At the time of the pension award, Annie was living at 35 Taylors Lane, West Bromwich.

The Pension Card records under ‘children’: Frederick James Love (adopted child) born on 22nd January 1912. This contradicts with the 1911 Census where a child, Frederick James Richards, is recorded.

Action resulting in his death

For the last week of May 1917, the 2nd Ox and Bucks had been alternating between spells in the lines at Arleux and Willerval, 6 miles north east of Arras, and spells out of the line when involved in road mending. On 31st May, they had moved out of the front line at Arleux to support lines at Willerval.

The War Diary for the 3rd/4th June reports that:
"The Regiment was relieved by the 1st King's Liverpools, and took over the camp at Roclincourt, vacated by that Regiment.
Casualties.-1 man wounded on the 2nd; 4 men killed on the 3rd.

The four men were Fred Richards, plus Privates Mole, Mundy and Wakelin. It is possible that all 4 men were killed during the relief, as this was often targeted. The 4 men are buried side by side in Orchard Dump Cemetery, Arleux.

Newspaper Cuttings