Friday, 17 March 2017

Leighton Buzzard Officer Killed

Premises of Cumberland and Hopkins, 40 High Street, Leighton Buzzard c.1900 [Z1432/2/1/19]

Saturday 17th March 1917: Mr. Frederick Robert Richmond, a partner in the Leighton Buzzard firm of auctioneers, Cumberland and Hopkins, has been killed while serving in France. Lieutenant Richmond, aged 34, was the son of Mr. Robert Richmond J.P., of Heathwood, Leighton Buzzard, and his wife Fanny. A fellow officer has written a letter of condolence to Mr and Mrs Richmond in which he told them “On our way up to the trenches he was killed by a shell, at a point about a mile north of Bouchavesnes. Death was practically instantaneous, and the calm noble expression in his face showed he knew nothing of it.”  Lieutenant Richmond is the second son of Mr and Mrs Richmond to make the ultimate sacrifice in this War. His younger brother, Captain Harold Stedman Richmond, was killed on 24th August 1916 fighting with the 9th Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps at the Somme. A third brother, George William Richmond also joined up early in the War and is now serving in Mesopotamia.

Lieutenant Richmond was educated at Berkhamstead School, then worked for a time at Ipswich before joining Messrs. Cumberland and Sons of Luton, then Messrs. Cumberland and Hopkins. When Mr. S. Hopkins retired, Frederick Richmond succeeded him as a partner. At the beginning of the war he joined the Public School Battalion as a private, along with his cousin, the late Mr. Cecil H. Green. He was promoted first to Sergeant and then to Company Sergeant-Major before his battalion went to France in November 1915. He returned to England in March last year to take up a commission, and joined the Durham Light Infantry as Second Lieutenant in September 1916. He then returned to the Front to join a Pioneer Battlaion. Lieutenant Richmond was a noted athlete with a fine physique, and was known for his geniality and kindness.

Source: Luton News 22nd March 1917

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