Richards, Walter

Walter Richards was born in Rhyl, Flintshire in 1897.

The 1911 Census shows that the family lived at Llys Awen, Morley Road, Rhyl, Flintshire, North Wales.  The head of the family was William Hamshaw Richards aged 49. a Self-Employed Tailor. His wife Ellen Richards (nee Wearmouth) aged 49 and their six children – Jessie Richards aged 27, a Tailoress, Edward Richards aged 23, a Tailor, Arthur Richards aged 15, an Errand Boy, Walter Richards aged 14 and the twins, Frederick Richards aged 11 and James Morris Richards aged 11 years.

Walter enlisted at The Recruitment Centre, Rhyl with 16th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers.  On Thursday 2 December 1915 he arrived in France with the Battalion..  He was killed in action during the Battle of Mametz Wood.

Private Walter Richards

Rhyl Journal – Saturday 5 August 1916.    Private Walter Richards, Royal Welsh Fusiliers and son of the late Mr W H Richards and Mrs Ellen Richards, 16 Rosehill Terrace, Rhyl, is this week officially reported to have been killed in action on 10 July, while participating in the attack on Mametz Wood.  He was not yet 19 years of age.  Prior to joining the army he was in the employ of his eldest brother who was a Tailor in High Street, Rhyl.  He was an old boy of Clwyd Street National School and a member of the Young Men’s Guild, which was associated with St Thomas’s Church.  He was one of three brothers in khaki, Private Arthur Roberts being on active service in Mesopotamia and Sergeant Edward Roberts at Kinmel Camp.  Two other brothers have been attested.  It was not long since he was home on leave, when he looked wonderfully fit after about six months hard service at the front. 

The Name of Walter Richards as shown on one of the panels of the Ring of Remembrance at Notre Dame de Lorette.



The Ring of Remembrance – Notre Dame de Lorette. The Elliptical War Memorial at Notre Dame de Lorette which shows the names of 580,000 Soldiers who were killed in Northern France during the First Wold War.

On July 1st 1987 a memorial to the 38th (Welsh) Division in the form of a Welsh Dragon, was placed overlooking Mametz Wood, at Mametz, Somme, France.

On July 1st 1987 a memorial to the 38th (Welsh) Division in the form of a Welsh Dragon, was placed overlooking Mametz Wood, at Mametz, Somme, France.


Thiepval Memorial

Thiepval Memorial

Private 16701 Walter Richards name as it appears on Pier and Face 4A of the Thiepval Memorial. Photograph taken on Sunday 15 April 2018 by Geoffrey Mitchell.


On 10 November 1916, a payment of £5. 10s. 0d. was made by the War Office to Mrs Ellen Richards, being monies owed to her son Walter.  On 24 September 1919, a further payment, which is recorded as a War Gratuity of £7. 10s. 0d. was also made to her.

He is also remembered on The North Wales Heroes Memorial Arch, Deiniol Road, Bangor, North Wales and on a Remembrance Plaque at The Royal Alexandra Hospital, Marine Drive, Rhyl, Flintshire.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Rhyl Memorial

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