John Thomas Richards was born in 1876 in Llangollen.
Early census returns have proved to be speculative so far. It has been difficult to identify him positively.
He was recorded on the census of 1911 living at Plough Cottage, Ffrith nr Wrexham. He was head of his household aged 35, a Collier and married. His wife of 9 years was Harriet. She was 29 years old and had been born in Ffrith as had her 3 children. The form tells us she had given birth to three children all of whom had survived. They were listed as John Thomas 6, Mary Winifred 4 and Donald Minshall 11 months.
His Army service Records have survived though they are a little sketchy and a bit confusing. They are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk
He enlisted for WW1 on the 17th September 1914 in Wrexham. He was 38 years and 11 months old. His address was Plough Cottage, Ffrith. He said he was a married man. The Attestation form tells us that he had already served a term in the 1st and 2nd Bns of The Royal Welsh Fusiliers and had been medically discharged. As a former soldier, he was therefore a reservist.
There is an index card for John Thomas Richards in The Flintshire Roll of Honour in The County Record Office at Hawarden. It gives the address Plough Cottage Ffrith and confirms his regimental details as at the top of this page. The card sheds some light on his previous military experience. It says he had served for 13 years including periods in India and China. The card was signed by Edward Humphreys on 2nd October 1919
The Service records tell us that in 1914, he was allocated to the 8th Battalion of the RWF with the regimental number 6112. He was mobilised on the day he attested and was posted on the 1st March 1915. We know from his medal index card, also on Ancestry that he first entered the theatre of war that was Gallipoli on the 28th June 1915 and was killed in action the following month on the 24th July 1915. The medal card lists his three medals.
There is some correspondence in the records between widow Harriet Richards and the army concerning the receipt of medals and personal effects.
The Register of Effects in which the army calculated monies owed to deceased soldiers recorded that £8..3sh..2d was directed to widow Harriet Richards for her and her children.
John Thomas Richards left a will which is listed in the UK Calendar of Wills and Administrations. The entry reads as follows….
Richards John Thomas of Plough Cottage Ffrith Wrexham Denbighshire, a private in the 8th battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers died 24th July 1915 at Gallipoli. Administration (with will) St asaph 11 May to Harriet Richards widow. Effects £183