WWI Memorial Cross to the 19th Battalion CEF 1916
WWI Memorial Cross to the 19th Battalion CEF 1916 - (55275 Pte. W.A. RICHARDS). Naming is officially engraved. Light contact, very fine. Accompanied by copies of his Index Cards, Attestation Paper and Service Records. Footnote: William Antil Richards was born on September 7, 1893 in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Alan Edwin Richards and Sarah Ann Richards. He had three sisters and one brother, Lieutenant Percy Alan Richards (born September 20, 1894), who was later to follow in his brother William's footsteps, enlisting in the 83rd Infantry Battalion (171409) on August 7, 1915. William Richards was an employee of the National Cash Register Company and was a member of the Royal Canadian Bicycle Club before the war. Richards enlisted as a Private with Queen's Own Rifles and was transferred in the same rank (55275) to the 19th Infantry Battalion CEF on November 6, 1914, signing his Attestation Paper on November 10th in Toronto, at the age of 21, naming his next-of-kin as his father, Alan Richards, stating that he no previous military service, that he had was not married and that his trade was that of Factory Hand. The Battalion sailed May 13, 1915 aboard the S.S. Scandinavian, with a strength of 41 officers and 1,073 other ranks, including Richards, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel J.J. McLaren, arriving in England on May 22nd. The Battalion embarked for the French theatre on September 14, 1915 and served in France and Belgium with the 4th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division, with Richards experiencing a "slight gassing" in battle along the way. Four and half months after arriving in France, Richards suffered gunshot wounds in his neck and was admitted to No. 5 Canadian Field Ambulance, where he died of his wounds on January 30, 1916, at the age of 22. He is buried in Ridge Wood Memorial Cemetery, near Ieper, Belgium, Grave Reference: I. M. 2 and is commemorated on page 154 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. His father, Alan Richards, received his Medals, Memorial Plaque and Scroll, while his mother, Sarah Richards, received his Memorial Cross. Richards was a member of the congregation of All Saints' Church in Toronto and is remembered on the church's plaque. 196 members of the church served during the war, 28 of whom lost their lives.