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 James Cleland Richardson

James Cleland Richardson

Birth
Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, Scotland
Death 9 Oct 1916 (aged 20)
Departement de la Somme, Picardie, France
Burial Miraumont, Departement de la Somme, Picardie, France
Plot III.F.36.
Memorial ID 10060800 · View Source
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World War I Victoria Cross Recipient. A native of Scotland who later emigrated to British Columbia, Canada, he was posthumously gazetted for the award on October 18, 1918 for his actions at the Battle of the Ancre Heights in France on October 8, 1916 during World War I. Born in Bellshill, Scotland, after receiving his education he emigrated with his parents to Vancouver, British Columbia around 1912. He served in the cadet corps of the 72nd Regiment (Seaforth Highlanders), a Vancouver unit, and then joined the 16th Infantry Battalion (Canadian Scottish) of the Canadian Expeditionary Force as a private and piper following the Outbreak of World War I in July 1914. In February 1915 he was sent with his unit to the Western Front in France and participated in the Battle of the Somme, that encompassed the Battle of the Ancre Heights for which he won the Victoria Cross for gallantry, resulting in his death at the age of 20. In 1917 a set of bagpipes were discovered by a British Army chaplain near Courcelette, France who brought them back to back to Scotland where he taught school. However, It wasn't until 2003 when the bagpipes were identified as belonging to James Cleland Richardson and in November 2006 they were placed in the British Columbia Legislature building in Vancouver to be displayed. In 1920 his remains were finally recovered and interred at the Adanac Military Cemetery near Courcelette. His Victoria Cross citation reads: "During the Battle of the Ancre Heights on 8 October 1916 at Regina Trench, Somme, France, the company was held up by very strong wire and came under intense fire. Piper Richardson, who had obtained permission to play the company 'over the top' strode up and down outside the wire playing his pipes, which so inspired the company that the wire was rushed and the position captured. Later the piper was detailed to take back a wounded comrade and some prisoners, but after proceeding some distance he insisted on turning back to recover his pipes which he had left behind. He was never seen again." In addition to the Victoria Cross, he was also posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal (1914-20), and the Victory Medal (1914-19). His Victoria Cross and other medals are on display at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. A statue dedicated in his honor is located on the grounds of the Chilliwack Museum in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 8 Dec 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10060800
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James Cleland Richardson (25 Nov 1895–9 Oct 1916), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10060800, citing Adanac Military Cemetery, Miraumont, Departement de la Somme, Picardie, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .