John Richards

John William Brookes Richards

Personal Details

John William Brookes Richards (brother of William Lee Brookes Richards) was born in Chester, Cheshire in 1896. He was the eldest son of John and Frances Richards of ‘Moss Side’ 4 Brownlow Street, Whitchurch.

Military Details

Regiment : 2nd Battalion Suffolk Regiment, formerly Army Service Corps No T4/172822

Rank : Private
Service Number : 50630

Killed in Action; France 24th March 1918 Age 22

Medals and Awards
John was awarded the Campaign Medals (British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal)

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

Further Information

Whitchurch Herald 20th April 1918

Report in the Whitchurch Herald 20th April 1918 relating to the death of John William Brookes Richards

"On Friday 12th April, Mr & Mrs Richards of Moss Side, Brownlow Street received official notification from the War Office on the death of their eldest son J W B Richards (Jack) who had been killed in action on Palm Sunday 24th March 1918"

Whitchurch Herald 20th April 1918

Whitchurch Herald 20th April 1918

Report in the Whitchurch Herald 20th April 1918 of a letter received by Mr. and Mrs. Richards regarding the death of their son, John William Brookes Richards

"After being away from the Battalion in Hospital for just two months, I returned yesterday and was grieved to learn that dear old Jack had been killed in this awful affair. I scarcely know how to express myself, but please accept my sincere sympathy in your great sorrow. Jack and I have been close pals for some months, and being such a nice quite boy he was generally liked by all the boys, what a terrible blow you all have to bear. May our heavenly father , who alone can give the comfort and sympathy needed in such times as you are passing through be with you and give you all that you need in your dark hour of trial is the prayer of yours sincerely,
Morgan A Hardingham"

Whitchurch Herald 20th April 1918

If you can provide any further information on John William Brookes Richards please get in touch by leaving a comment below, using our Contact Form or by calling in to Whitchurch Heritage Centre.

Information provided by Terry Evanson Whitchurch, Shropshire and Whitchurch Museum and Archives

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