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Author Topic: Private Henry George Richards  (Read 85 times)
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« on: May 19, 2017, 08:44:12 AM »

Henry George Richards
Middlesex Regiment 29th Battalion
Service number 71932

Died on the 6th October 1917  aged 42 years.

Buried in the churchyard of St. Bartholomew's Church, Horley, Surrey  grave reference : On East boundary.

Husband of Sarah Annie Richards, of 127, Albert Rd., Horley.

The inscription on Henry Richards' headstone states "HIS END WAS PEACE" which would indicate that his death terminated some form of suffering.  A search of the newspaper archives failed to show any account of his death or funeral - but once again I am indebted to Horley Town Council and the book "Men of Horley" which they commissioned to commemorate the start of WWI, this was written by Doug Cox.  The section of the book dedicated to Private Henry George Richards shows :

                                                                      Henry Richards
                                              Private 71932, 29th Battalion,  The Middlesex Regiment.

Henry George Richards was born in 1875 but neither his birthplace nor his early family details can be ascertained.  He married Sarah Mitchell in 1898 and they lived at 127 Albert Road, Horley with their three children, Albert, Ethel and Martha.  Although he was employed as a bricklayer, which implies a reasonable level of fitness, Henry was classifed medically as B1, and had “a slight cough” when he joined up on 3rd November 1916.

The 29th Middlesex were raised in June 1916 as a “Works” Battalion and Henry may have been posted to this unit because of his age or generally poor  fitness.  In April 1917 the 29th Middlesex were transferred to  The Labour Corps as the 5th Labour Battalion.  The Corps always suffered from its treatment as something of a second class organisation: for example the men who died are commemorated under their original regiment, with Labour Corps being secondary. Researching men of the Corps is made extra diffcult by this process, as is the fact that few records remain of the daily activities and locations of Corps units.

Henry was hospitalised in the City of London Hospital at Victoria Park and was discharged from the army at Hounslow on 9th June 1917 as being unfit for further military duties. He appears to have returned to Horley. His discharge papers show him to have been of good character but suffering from tuberculosis.

Henry died on 6th October 1917, aged 42, and is buried in St. Bartholomew’s Churchyard, Horley.

His wife applied for an army pension and, early in 1918, was asked if he could attend for a medical. She replied that he was already dead and buried. A small pension was awarded for his children but was only payable from the date of his discharge until his death.

Attached is a photograph of Private Richards' headstone in St Bartholomew's Churchyard, Horley, which I took a couple of weeks ago.

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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2017, 20:22:52 PM »

Henry George Richards
Born about 1875 Earlswood
Married Sarah Annie Mitchell 18.9.1898 Reigate. Father Robert Richards

Pension Records for  71932 Middx
Confirms marriage detail
He was a Bricklayer living at 127 Albert Rd, Horley(in 1916?)
He Joined at 41 years, 4 months. 3 children all born Horley
Posted 3.11.1916 home service only.
Discharged 9.6.1917 physically unfit.

A further service record for 179910 Labour Corps(same wife/wedding date) No 71932 crossed out. At 27 Albert Rd, Horley. From 9.6.1917, “man was struck off strength”
Appears he may have been Transferred from one to the other

In 1911 at Church Rd, Horley. With Annie & 4 children. A General Labourer,  Annie showed 5 children, 4 living(another must have died by 1916?)

In 1891 with parents Robert & Martha & 5 siblings at Hollis Row, Reigate. Father a Bricklayer. Henry and brother Builders labourers   

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richards 1.jpg
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