IN MEMORy by Pierre Vandervelden

The visit to Commonwealth graves in Communal Cemeteries & Churchyards in Belgium & France

LANNOY CUILLERE Communal Cemetery (Oise France)

F. H. Hard - Unknown - Unknown - Unknown - G. E. Richardson - Unknown - Unknown (All Unknowns are of 08/06/1940)
Photo Courtesy Regis Biaux (Fr)
Pte Graham Eric Richardson aged 20
for his nephew Martin Richardson

Taken from Obituary for Graham Eric Richardson June 1940,- Church and School:
Graham attended Emanuel School Wandsworth, and was a prominent personality at the school and was the Captain of Lyons. He was an energetic member of the O.T.C. and reached the rank of Sergeant. Furthermore he will be remembered by many for his brilliance as a solo singer in many school concerts. He also recorded for the BBC. He had achieved a high standard of qualification in his final exams and was hoping eventually to attend university.
Graham was Head Choir Boy at St Michael’s church Southfields which he attended for 8 years (1927-35). He was gifted with a beautiful voice. This was enhanced by an exceptionally accurate ear. His solo singing was always well received and never forgotten.
To have Known Graham was a delightful experience for he had an outstanding character, displaying in his love of the beauties of nature especially ornithology and the countryside. He had a great interest in music and the temperament of the idealist. He was kind and gentle with a great sense of humour.
This is a tragic loss at such a young age especially for his parents and Brother Kenneth. May his soul rest in peace,he will always be loved and remembered.

Extact from his Commanding Officer Diary:
Sunday [9th June] We all slept in the orchard in hastily dug trenches, which was done in the night. At four in the morning a French officer rushed round to us and shouted ‘Le Allemand, Le Boche’. Then all hell broke loose. We were bombed by planes, shelled by artillery and bombed by trench mortars. And the machinegun fire was incessant. Two Allied posts were firing over our heads into the valley and the Germans absolutely plastered us with bullets. Then three of us, Mr Naylor, another of the Heywoods and myself took the front post. We had only our rifles and grenades. The bombs fell all of the time, some of them ten yards away. Naylor was scared but was sticking it well. Heywood was panicky but he also did his best to keep cool. I was actually happy and got out of the trench and got a couple of blankets to make it more comfortable. I did not see a German at all and did not fire a single shot. The French machine guns were firing continuously in bursts of about twenty rounds. They have a beautiful crack crack crack sound to them and it is very easy to distinguish from the Brens roaring chatter or the big Vickers bellow. Then things got too hot and we got the order to retreat. Naylor and Heywood went like scared rabbits at the double, I stayed and collected all ammo and Mills bombs in the various trenches, also all of my kit and overcoat. Outside of the orchard was a fearful sight, the 12th Division of the French Army and our lads were in full retreat. Let me say here and now that the French showed an order and discipline that was terrific. They took all of their kit and machine guns with them, ours left with nothing, sometimes throwing rifle and ammo away in a mad scramble. Just inside of the field was Richardson, the best looking lad of the Army class ...

"Richardson, the best looking lad of the Army class ... I looked at his rifle. Called up for Service he had never fired a shot, never in practice and never in war. He was in the front line with clean gun. Next to him was a French policeman, one clean bullet hole on the bridge of his nose, laying peacefully on his face".

With special thanks to Keith Janes

2 casualties

United Kingdom Sergeant (Air Gnr.) Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 630 Sqdn. Age: 19 Date of Death: 05/07/1944 Service No: 1811226

United Kingdom Private East Surrey Regiment 2/6th Bn. Age: 20 Date of Death: 10/06/1940 Service No: 6145481

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Casualties informations come usualy from Commonwealth War Graves Commission, see links for more informations © Pierre Vandervelden - Belgium