Lance Corporal 200251 Simeon Richards

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Killed in Action on Monday, 27th August 1917, age 21.
Buried in Grave X. A. 7. at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

1st/7th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 144th Brigade of 48th Division.
Formerly 1874 Worcestershire Regiment.

Son of Simeon and Elizabeth Richards, of 19, The Inhedge, Dudley, Worcs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Dudley.

First landed France & Flanders, 31st March 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, but commemorated on the Dudley Clock Tower and Dudley Higher Elementary School Memorials.
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/464416/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
34 Vauxhall Street, Dudley, Worcs.
Simeon Richards (34, Insurance Agent, born Woodsetton), his wife Elizabeth (35, born Woodsetton), and their 3 children: Sarah E. (11, born Woodsetton), Joseph E. (9, born Woodsetton), and Simeon (5, born Tipton).

1911 Census
19 Inhedge, Dudley, Worcs.
Elizabeth Richards (46, Head, Boarding House Keeper, born Coseley), and 2 of her 3 surviving children of 4: Joseph E. (19, Tailer's Cutter, born Regent Street, Woodsetton), and Simeon (15, Clerk at Co-operative Society, born Horseley Road, Tipton).

Personal Data

Simeon's brother, Joseph E. Richards, died on 1st September 1915 serving with the Munsters, and is buried in Malta.

After Simeon's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £9/12/6d (9 pounds, 12 shillings and 6 pence); this was paid to his mother, Elizabeth, in January 1918. His War Gratuity was £13/10/0d (13 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his mother in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Simeon had enlisted in August 1914.

Action resulting in his death

Detail from Stacke's 'The Worcestershire Regiment in the Great War'.
On August 27th the 1st/7th Worcesters were about 1000 yards north east of St Julien and 4000 yards east of Pilckem in the area of Triangle Farm, opposite the German strongpoint of Vancouver Farm. Rain had fallen for days making the great bog of shell-holes almost impassable, a vast wilderness strewn with corpses and dotted at intervals by wrecks of smashed tanks.

At 1.55pm the British artillery broke forth in an immense barrage fire, and all along the line the attacking platoons pushed forward. The troops advanced through mud that was knee-deep, and sometimes waist-deep, but it was impossible to keep up with the moving barrage. As the shells passed, the enemy snipers and machine-gunners opened fire from every side. The ordered line broke up as the platoons proceeded to deal with one machine-gun post after another, and the attack disintegrated into a series of fierce little struggles among the shell-holes.

Dusk fell in driving rain, and the troops dug in as best they could. Except in the centre around Vancouver, the Worcesters had everywhere gained ground, but at heavy cost.The next day (28th) an informal truce was observed along this portion of the battle front as both sides sending out stretcher-bearers to deal impartially with the wounded.

The 1st/7th Worcesters had 4 Officers and 19 men killed on the 27th August, with a number injured dying on subsequent days from their wounds. Amongst the 27 killed were 2 Tipton men, Thomas Green and Simeon Richards, against the odds both have a known grave and both are buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings

Dudley Herald 22nd September 1917.
Dudley Hero's Premonition.
Lance-Corporal Simeon Richards whose home is at 19 Inhedge, Dudley, has to be added to the roll of Dudley heroes. He was educated at the King Street Wesleyan School, and won a three year Scholarship at the Higher Elementary School. He was also a scholar in the King Street Wesleyan Sunday School, and was employed by the Co-operative Society, as Invoice Clerk. He took a great interest in the Scout movement, and was made Assistant Scoutmaster to Mr Douglas Pielow. In 1914 he joined the Territorials, and was at camp at Minehead when war broke out. He was in training until April 1915, when he was drafted out to France. Since then he has had only two days leave, and as his time with the Territorials expired next January, he was most anxiously looking forward to his month's leave. The circumstances of his death are doubly sad, as he lost his only brother less than two years ago, at the Dardanelles. He leaves a devoted mother, sister and sweet-heart to mourn his loss. He was 21 years of age last January.
One of his comrades who was with him when he fell, conveyed the news to his mother that he was first wounded in the arm, but went on with the fight, when a sniper hit him in the body killing him instantly. It is some consolation to know that he suffered no pain. His comrade spoke of him as one of the best of "pals", and always a "sport." He thought the world of his mother, and often would read her letter over and over again. He remarked how his mother dreaded this August battle, and said "so do I. Although I've never feared a battle before, something tells me I shall go under. His platoon also expressed their deepest regret as the loss of a true British soldier.
Second-Lieutenant Timbrell, in command of 'D' Company of the 1/7th Worcestershire Regiment, writes to say that Lance-Corporal Richards was killed during the afternoon of August 27th, whilst leading his section in an advance on the German line. "I knew him very well, and felt his death keenly" adds Lieutenant Timbrell "I have been into action with him on several occasions, and can personally testify to his gallantry and devotion to duty. I do sincerely sympathise with you in your great sorrow, and perhaps it may be of some consolation for you to know that he is greatly missed in the Company, both by the Officers and Men.
A comrade writes: "I am sure that Sim will be missed by all who knew him. He was loved and respected by all the chaps out here, and has proved a good friend to many. I myself can safely say that I have lost the truest and best pal a chap could ever wish to have."
RICHARDS: Killed in action in France, August 27th 1917, Lance-Corporal Simeon Richards, 1/7th Worcestershire Regiment, dearly beloved and only son of Mrs E. Richards, of 19 Inhedge, Dudley; aged 21.
Deeply mourned by mother and sister. He nobly did his duty.
Editor's Note: he was the "only son" because his older brother Joseph had already been killed in 1915.
RICHARDS: In loving memory of Private Simeon Richards (Sim), killed in action August 26th 1917. Always lovingly remembered by Mrs Kear and family, Five Ways Hotel, Dudley.
RICHARDS: Killed in action somewhere in France, Private Simeon Richards, 7th Worcesters, the dearly beloved son of Simeon and Elizabeth Richards of Dudley. He gave his life for King and Country.
Mrs. E. Richards, of 19, Inhedge, Dudley, desires to return sincere thanks to numerous friends who have sent expressions of sympathy on her doubly sad bereavement.