|Rushden Echo, Friday 12th October 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins
Rifelman W Richardson Killed Instantaneously
We deeply regret to report that Mrs Willie Richardson, of 38 Grove-street, Higham Ferrers, has received unofficial news of the death in action of her husband, Rifleman Willie Richardson, of the Queen Victoria Rifles. The sad news is sent by the deceased soldier’s commanding officer, who writes under date September 29th, as follows:-
“I deeply regret having to inform you of the death of your husband, Rifleman W Richardson, in action. I am the commander of his platoon, and in the short time he had been with me he had gained my very excellent opinion of him. A very sound and trustworthy soldier, I very soon found that he could be relied upon to do his job thoroughly and to the best of his ability. We did an attack at dawn on September 26th on an important German strong point, and it was during this that he was shot through the head and killed instantly. I might add that we captured the position and held it against enemy counter attacks. It is a very terrible thing for a woman to lose her husband, and, Mrs Richardson, believe me I feel very deeply for you, but if he was to die, there is one slight consolation to know, and that is that his end was sudden and painless, also that he died as a brave British soldier, doing his duty for right. My sincere sympathy to you all in this very, very sad event.Yours very sincerely, Arthur W Turner, Sec. Lieut.”
The late Rifleman W Richardson, who was 30 years of age, leaves a widow, with whom much sympathy is felt throughout the borough. Deceased joined the King’s Royal Rifles on January 17th this year, and went to France on July 10th. After arrival in France he was transferred to the Queen Victoria Rifles, the mother battalion of the K.R.RS. Prior to joining up he was in the employ of Mr A E Wright, of Higham Ferrers, boot manufacturer. He was well known as a musician in Higham Ferrers, and for some time played first violin in Miss Crew’s orchestral band, and during the ministry of the late Rev M E Parkin at Rushden Congregational Church, he was a member of the P.S.A. string band. As a lad, the deceased attended the Higham Ferrers Church Sunday school, and was a member of the choir.