William Richards

William Lee Brooks Richards

Personal Details

William Lee Brookes Richards, born in Chester, Cheshire on 20th September 1897, the second son of John Richard and Frances Jane Richards of ‘Moss Side’ 4 Brownlow Street, Whitchurch.

William was educated at Whitchurch Grammar School, Bargates and Ellesmere College.

Military Details

Regiment : 115th Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)

Rank : Private
Service Number : 89777

Killed in Action; Belgium 5th August 1917 Age 19

Medals and Awards
William 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 25th August 1917

Report in the Whitchurch Herald 25th August 1917 of a letter received by Mr and Mrs Richards regarding their son, William Lee Brooks Richards

"Dear Mrs Richards, I am very grieved to have to send you news of your son’s death. William Lee Brookes, 115th Machine Gun Company. It occurred early in the morning of August 25th, he was in a captured German dugout with the enemy shelling, and a shell hit the dugout and blew it in. He was killed instantly, probably without any pain. I was with him at the time; he had just done a spell of duty manfully under most trying circumstances and was on his way to get a days’ rest. He had proved his value as a soldier, and as a comrade even in the short time he had been with us. Today a parcel arrived for him, I have passed on the contents to his friends, and I am returning one or two trifles we were able to find on him.
Louis F Brown 2nd Lt. MGC
(Killed in Action 14th May 1918) "

Whitchurch Herald 25th August 1917

If you can provide any further information on William Lee Brooks 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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