Monday, 26 June 2017

Leighton Buzzard Officer Decorated for Gallantry

Almshouse residents photographed at Heathwood by Mr. Robert Richmond [P91/25/36b]

Tuesday 26th June 1917: Mr. Robert Richmond of Heathwood, Leighton Buzzard has already suffered the two of his three sons, one at the Somme last year and the second earlier this year. LINK He has now received much better news of his only surviving son, Acting Captain George William Richmond of the Royal Engineers Special Reserve. Captain Richmond has been awarded the Distinguished Service Order with the following citation:

“For conspicuous gallantry and determination while forcing a passage of the river. His coolness and resource were mainly responsible for the successful launching of the pontoons which effected the crossing, and his attitude was an inspiring example to all under his command. He has previously done fine work.”

Captain Richmond carried out his heroic action during the successful British assault on the city of Baghdad in March. The work was carried out under heavy fire, and the whole attack would probably have been held up without Captain Richmond’s successful feat. The Distinguished Service Order is one of the highest decorations which can be given to a soldier, exceeded in rank only by the Victoria Cross. It is only available to officers – the nearest equivalent for other ranks is the Distinguished Conduct Medal – and it is rarely awarded.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 26th June 1917

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