DIVISIONAL UNIT: 2nd Canadian Infantry Division
6th Infantry Brigade
31st Battalion - Alberta
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 100713
RESIDENCE: Edmonton - Alberta
DATE OF BIRTH: September 2, 1886
Seaforth – McKillop / Tuckersmith Townships – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: September 15, 1916 30 years
MEMORIAL: Vimy Memorial – Vimy
Pas de Calais - France
PARENTS: Mr. John Richardson – St. Mary’s
Occupation: Clerk Religion: Presbyterian
Enlistment: July 5, 1915 – Edmonton – Alberta into the 66th Battalion
Enlistment Age: 28 years 11 months
Before he left Canada he was confirmed as Corporal. He left Canada bound for Liverpool on the S.S. Olympic and arrived on May 7, 1916. He transferred to the 31st Battalion on June 23, 1916 then reverts back to Private and goes overseas into France at the end of June and joins his unit in the field on July 14, 1916.
Private Richardson lost his life in battle performing his duties during an attack upon the village of Courcelette. He was struck by enemy machine gun fire.
In the early morning hours of September 15th it was cool and dark with no moon visible. At 6:20 am the attack began and the Division/Brigade artillery barrage began and in a few minutes the enemy artillery replied. The advancing waves met rifle fire and machine gun fire but mainly from the left.
The right was the 27th Battalion plus two Platoons of the 31st and they cleared their first objective by 6:37 am.
The left was the 28th Battalion plus 3 Platoon of the 31stand they met an enemy strongpoint where the the enemy line met the Courcelette-Ovilliers Road and this was held by about 100 men and two machine guns. This was cleared.
All first objectives were met but it took much bombing and bayonet work. The second objective was the Sunken Road and there was very little resistance here.
Considerable casualties had been suffered by the first waves.
At 7:40 am the right advance reported the final objective was taken and they were digging in and all positions were secured and consolidated.
Three patrols from the 31st went out and established outposts south west of Courcelette but were not able to advance until the Briage barrage lefted. Some of the men entered Courcelette and the right and left patrols could not hold their positions and they suffered heavy casualties and they joined the middle patrol. Two other patrols were sent out but they could not advance due to the enemy artillery barrage.
This was the fight that Private Richardson was involved in when he lost his life in action.