Rank or Title
Date of Birth
9 Feb 1879
Date of Death
30 Nov 1917
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte Ernest William Richardson, 39791, 5th Battalion Northants Regiment, was killed in action at Cambrai on November 30th, 1917. Three months later, with no news of her husband, Sarah Jane Richardson, of 23 Russell Rise, Luton, was given hope with an unfounded rumour that her husband was a prisoner of war.
Mrs Richardson had learned from an official intimation that her husband was missing following the Cambrai reverse. On January 15th, 1918, a friend sent an account of the fateful action. Her husband had been working on the night of November 29th when they were taken by surprise by an enemy attack. His platoon fought a magnificent rearguard action until reinforcements arrived, but the platoon had come under the heaviest fire and lost men heavily.
Pte Richardson had served with the Royal Engineers (241849) before being transferred to the Northants Regiment. Prior to joining up he had been an active member of the Church of England Men's Society and was a churchwarden at St Saviour's Church in Luton. He was well known throughout the St Albans diocese, and his widow received a letter of sympathy from the Bishop of St Albans.
Born in Luton in 1879, Pte Richardson married Sarah Jane Smith in Luton in 1904. In the 1911 Census he was described as a compositor at a printing works.