Private John Howard Richards


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known at present, other than that he was born around 1880 and was from Victoria SW, London.

Richards registered for military service on 12 December 1915. He was called-up, probably in 1917, and was sent to the 5th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry at Tidworth. He was issued regimental number 34821 and posted to a regiment of Hussars.

In 1917 or 1918 he embarked for France, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, probably E Squadron. This regiment was serving as corps cavalry to V Corps, but in February-March 1918 it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

In September or early October 1918, while serving with the regiment during the Advance to Victory offensive, Richards was wounded, probably on 3 October, when E Squadron was camped east of Epehy, near the German defences on the St Quentin Canal. The squadron war diary recorded:

[1-2 October] Attached 100th Inf Brdge 33rd Division. Sent out a patrol under 2/Lt Downey to reconnoitre Canal de St Quentin ... preparatory to small raiding operations on following night which however never took place.

[3 October] 15 ORs Gassed by gas shelling. Sqdn moved forward to Battn H.Q. owing to report that enemy were retiring. This did not prove to be the case, so Sqdn moved back to previous location and were engaged in afternoon on salvage work.

On 2 March 1919 he was discharged as 'surplus to military requirements, having suffered impairment since entry into the service' (paragraph 392 xvi(a), King's Regulations).

At some point after the war Richards was living at 3 Bunhouse Place, near Pimlico Road, London.