Roll of Honour and Biographies
Officers of the Gloucestershire Regiment Who Died in the Great War
Surnames - R
Captain, MiD. 7th Battalion. Killed in action in Mesopotamia (Iraq) on 21st
April 1916. Commemorated on Basra Memorial. Aged 32.
Charles William Ernest
Battalion. Died of wounds in Belgium on 28th
September 1917. Buried in Mendinghem Military Cemetery,
Proven. Aged 22.
Lieutenant. Attached to 15th
Company Machine Gun Corps. Died of
wounds in France
on 29th September 1916. Buried in Grove
Meaulte. Aged 18.
Norman Frederick Kynaston
Battalion. Killed in action in France on 24th
July 1916. Commemorated on Thiepval
Kynaston Richards was born in Chile in 1877 to Thomas and Jane
Richards. Thomas Richards was a mining
He attended Kelly College, Tavistock, Devon before entering
Camborne Mining School 1895.
He was appointed
to a Temporary Regular Commission as a Second Lieutenant in the
Gloucestershire Regiment in February 1915 and after completion
of training at 11th (Reserve) Battalion Gloucestershire
Regiment, he joined the Battalion in France in late 1915.
At the time the Battalion was part of 95th Infantry Brigade of
the 5th Division.
On 30th June 1916
the Battalion was based at Berneville, to the south-west of
Arras in III Army Reserve and the 5th Division was warned to
prepare to move to the Somme area of operations to join the main
battle. The order to move came on 13th July and the
Battalion marched via Warlus to the Wanquetin area.
Here, a fleet of old London buses transported the Battalion to
Ivergny. On 14th July the Battalion marched to Candas and
rested overnight before marching on to Puchevillers.
On 16th July the Battalion marched to Bresle and on the 17th to
Becordel via Albert. On the 18th July the Battalion
moved to bivouacs east of Mametz and on the 19th July entered
support trenches in "Caterpillar Wood Valley", near Montauban.
On 23rd July the Battalion was ordered into the front line at
Longue, relieving the 1st Battalion East Surrey Regiment at 8pm.
Here the Battalion suffered heavy shelling which killed 2Lt N F
K Richards and 1 soldier on 24th July 1916.
His body was
never recovered from the battlefield or identified and he is
commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to The Missing.
His name is also listed on the War Memorial at
Tavistock, Devon. He is also remembered in the
Camborne Mining School Memorial Book.
Lieutenant. Seconded to 55th
Squadron Royal Flying Corps. Killed in
aerial action in France
on 21st August 1917. Buried
in Arras Road Cemetery,
Roclincourt. Aged 23.
MiD. 1st Battalion. Killed in action in France on 25th
January 1915. Buried in Guards Cemetery,
Windy Corner, Cuinchy. Aged 34.
"Illustrated War News" Volume 2
Christopher Richmond was born at Liverpool in March 1880.
He was the
only son of Samuel Liptrot and Eliza Richmond who resided
at Quarry House, Thornton, Lancs.
He was educated at Balliol College,
Oxford, and graduated in 1899. On 8th February 1899 he was
appointed into the Militia as a Second Lieutenant in the 5th
Battalion, The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own), before
being appointed to a Regular Commission in the Gloucestershire
Regiment as a Second Lieutenant, on 4th April 1900, and was
promoted to Lieutenant on 27th May 1903. He saw
action in the war in South Africa and was awarded the
Queen's Medal with four clasps. He was
appointed as Adjutant on 7th April 1908 being promoted to the
rank of Captain on 17th July 1909. He was selected
for training at the Staff College on 1st February 1913 and was
appointed as a Staff Captain on 5th August 1914 on the outbreak
of war, and was posted as the Assistant Military
Landing Officer at HQ No 3 Base of the British Expeditionary
Force in France at St Nazaire.
On the 23rd
October 1914 whilst the 1st Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment
were in Reserve near Langemarck during The First Battle of
Ypres, the Commanding Officer requested officer reinforcements
including that of Capt Richmond, who was still based at St
Nazaire. He eventually joined the Battalion at Ocre,
Near Ypres, on 16th November 1914 and was posted to "D" Company. At this time the Battalion were in the Bethune
Sector in the Givenchy area.
He was granted leave
to the UK between 8th and 13th January 1915. At daybreak on 25th January the
German artillery became very active and at 7.30am a rifle rocket
soared into the air from the German lines signalling an attack.
On the Battalion's front, "A" and "D" Companies were in the
front line opposite Givenchy and as the enemy attacked many were
shot down and some ran back to their own line.
However, the Germans managed to penetrate the Battalion's line
on the left and it was here at about 7.35am that Captain
Richmond, with Capt W K George, both of "D" Company, were
killed. About sixty Germans had also penetrated the
village of Givenchy to the rear of the Gloucesters line but the
line and village were secured by reinforcements sent by the 1st
Bn Black Watch who were in local reserve and by "B" Company of
the Gloucesters who moved from Pont Fixe to support "A" and "D"
Richmond's body was recovered from where he fell and was taken to the Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner,
Cuinchy and was buried in what is now Plot 1, Row J, Grave 18
next to the grave of his comrade-in-arms Captain George.
Captain Richmond was posthumously "Mentioned in Despatches" in
Field Marshal French's Despatch of 5th April 1915.
His death was reported in The Times
of 29th January and 30th January 1915 and he left a widow, Mabel
M Richmond, who resided at The Wrakes, Waverley Drive,
John Harold Ellerson
MC. 2/5th Battalion. Killed in action in France on 22nd
March 1918. Buried in Savy British Cemetery. Aged 22.
Harold Ellerson Rickerby was born at Cheltenham on 25th October
1895. His parents, Major Thomas Ellerson Rickerby TD
and Alice Emily Rickerby resided at "Hafod", Chargrove,
Shurdington, near Cheltenham. Major Rickerby was a
solicitor of Rickerby & Co, 2, Ormond Place and later at 16,
Royal Crescent, Cheltenham and Area Recruiting Officer for
attended Cheltenham College between 1906 and 1914 and Pembroke
College, Cambridge. At the outbreak of war he was
appointed to a Territorial Force Commission as a Second
Lieutenant in the Gloucestershire Regiment on 26th September
the 5th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment (TF) and joined the
2/5th Battalion when it was formed from second line troops of
5th Battalion in September 1914. The unit later
became part of 184th Infantry Brigade, 61st (2nd South Midland)
Division and trained at Gloucester, Northampton, Chelmsford and
Salisbury Plain. During this time, on 3rd April 1915, he
was promoted to the Temporary rank of Lieutenant and to the rank
of Temporary Captain on 23rd May 1916. He was with
the Battalion when it embarked for France on 24th May 1916 and
landed at Le Havre the following morning. The
Division concentrated in the Laventie area and the 2/5th
Battalion were billeted at Le Sart then after instruction at
Riez Bailleul, first took over trenches in the front line in the
Fauquissart-Laventie Sector on 15th June 1916. Capt
Rickerby was appointed Officer Commanding "A" Company on 21st
June 1916 after Captain E W Wales, detached from the Lincs Regt,
was wounded in a trench raid on 20th June 1916.
After the failure of the 61st
Division/5th Australian Division attack at Fromelles on 19th
July 1916 the battalion was moved to the "Moated Grange" area of
the Aubers Sector opposite Mauquissart. On The night
of 27th/28th July 1916 in the "A" Company area, called the
Duck's Bill Crater, the Germans opened a heavy bombardment in an
effort to prevent support from reaching the crater before they
occupied it and made good the position. Captain
Rickerby, with admirable decision and foresight, moved most of
his men from the front line along the sap and in to the crater,
in order to avoid casualties from shell fire. When
the Germans arrived to take the crater they were repulsed
suffering many casualties. He was awarded the
Military Cross for his actions which was promulgated in the
Supplement to the London Gazette, Issue 29760 dated 22nd
September 1916. The citation read: 2Lt Lt
(temp Capt) John Harold Ellerson Rickerby, Glouc R.
For conspicuous gallantry. He defended his post with
the greatest determination against two strong attacks by the
enemy, preceded by heavy bombardment. When his
signallers had all become casualties, he went himself under fire
to the signal dugout to ask for reinforcements. On
his return he beat off another attack by machine-gun fire, and
then counter-attacked with the bayonet".
On 17th March 1917 he was
promoted to the substantive rank of Captain and served with the
battalion whilst they were stationed in the St Quentin and Arras
Sectors. During this time, on 26th May 1917, he was
awarded the Silver Medal For Valour (Italy) by the Italian
On the commencement of the German
Spring Offensive on 21st March 1918 the battalion was stationed
in the Battle Zone at Holnon Wood, to the west of St Quentin and
during that day, and early on 22nd March were pushed back to
uncompleted trenches at Beauvois. At about 6pm large
numbers of Germans were seen advancing from Holnon Wood and
moving in attack formation towards Beauvois and, after a short
sharp bombardment, assaulted the battalion's positions.
It was during this bombardment that Capt Rickerby was hit by a
shell and died of his wounds. As his body was not
found he was reported wounded and missing and in The Times of
12th July 1918 his father sought from friends of Prisoners of
War any information regarding his son. His body was
subsequently found as he is buried in Savy British Cemetery,
Plot I, Row U, Grave 15. This cemetery was formed in
1919 when graves in the area were concentrated here and he may
well have been initially buried in the St Quentin.-Roupy Road
German Cemetery, at L'Epine-de-Dallon, which contained the
graves of 232 British soldiers who fell in March 1918.
His original battlefield grave marker is located in
The book "The Story Of The 2/5th
Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment 1914 - 1918", by A F Barnes,
MC, describes that Capt Rickerby's death was a disaster to the
Battalion and a great personal loss to his many friends.
He had served with the Battalion from its infancy, had taken a
distinguished part in its most notable achievements and had
added lustre to its fame. He was a type to whom
clean life and hard living are part of a deep religion. To
these attributes he added a capacity for detail and an instinct
for soldiering that made him a leader among others.
Possessing a stern sense of duty and full of joy of living, yet
completely regardless of death, he was the ideal Company
His death was officially reported
by his father in The Times published on 12th May 1919.
He is commemorated on the
Cheltenham War Memorial, the
James' Church, Cheltenham, Roll of Honour, the
Cheltenham College Roll of Honour and the
St Paul's Church, Shurdington, Roll of Honour.
Richard Harry James Willis
Lieutenant. 10th Battalion, attached to 1st Trench Mortar Battery. Killed
in action in France
on 6th December 1916. Buried
in Warlencourt British Cemetery. Aged 19.
MC. Attached to 1/7th Battalion
Lancashire Fusiliers. Killed in action in France on 23rd
October 1918. Buried in Belle Vue
Briastre. Aged 21.
DSO, MiD. 1st
Battalion. Died of wounds in Belgium on 7th
November 1914. Buried in Zillebeke
Churchyard. Aged 43.
Colonel, MiD. Commanding Officer 14th
Battalion. Killed in action in France on 8th
June 1916. Buried in Pont-du-Hem Military
Cemetery, La Gorgue. Aged 42.
Gerard Chipchase Roberts was born at
Sunderland on 19th January 1874. His parents,
Captain Henry William Roberts and Annie Chipchase Roberts,
resided at Hollingside, Durham
He was educated at Charterhouse
School, Godalming, Surrey.
He was commissioned as a Second
Lieutenant into the 4th (Volunteer) Battalion Durham Light
Infantry on 7th April 1897. He was promoted to the
rank of Captain on 6th July 1901, but on 19th December 1903
resigned his commission to assist in the family carpet business.
At the outbreak of war he
immediately volunteered for active service and was appointed to a Special
Regular Commission as a Captain in the County Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry and
then promoted to temporary Major on 24th September 1914 . On 31st August 1915 he was
transferred to the Gloucestershire Regiment, as a Lieutenant
Colonel, and selected for duty as the Commanding Officer of the newly formed 14th (West of England)
Battalion which had formed up in Bristol in April and May 1915,
organised by the Citizens Recruiting Committee, from a cadre of
senior NCOs selected from the 12th Battalion. It was
a "Bantam" battalion, set up to enlist volunteers who had
previously been turned down for military service on account of
being below the required minimum height or weight. The majority of
soldiers were recruited from Bristol and Birmingham, whilst the
officers were taken from the Bristol area.
In June 1915 the battalion left
Bristol for Masham, Yorks, to commence field training and in
August 1915 it was moved to Chiseldon were it joined the 105th
Infantry Brigade, part of 35th (Bantam) Division. After
intensive training at Chiseldon the battalion moved to Tidworth
at Christmas 1915
and at the end of January 1916 the
battalion left for France , landing at Le Havre on 31st January,
and by 6th February it was complete in its Divisional
concentration area to the east of St Omer, departing to take
over trenches east of Festubert in the first week of March 1916. The battalion saw its first major action during the night of 2nd
June 1916 when a German bombing party threw bombs into the
battalion's front line trench in the Neuve Chapelle sector.
Six days later on the 8th June
1916 the battalion made a major raid on opposing German front
line trenches at the "Pope's Nose" (map ref
36.SW3.S.11a) in collaboration with local
artillery, trench-mortar and machine gun units. The
raid started at 9pm with an artillery barrage on the enemy line.
The Germans were quick to react and in the first retaliatory
artillery fire, Lt Col Roberts was killed. His
Adjutant, Captain F H Toop wrote, " .......... the poor old man
was killed by about the first shell the Bosch sent in
retaliation. He was not mutilated at all, just a
small piece of shrapnel through the heart. He was
dead instantly and did not suffer any pain. I
carried him back to our line and then went out with the
raiders". Despite the fact that Lt Col Roberts and
also Captain Butt had been killed, the raid was considered a success
with about 30 Germans killed and a number of machine-guns
destroyed and captured. Lt Col Roberts was
posthumously awarded a "Mentioned in Despatches" in General
Haig's Despatch of 13th November 1916.
The Colonel's body was taken to
the Pont-du-Hem Military Cemetery at La Gorgue, near Estaires.
He was buried in Plot 1, Row B, Grave 12, close to the grave of
His death was notified in The
Times published on Friday 16th June 1916. His
brother, Major Frederick John Roberts, 6th Bn R W Surrey Regt,
died of wounds on
17th October 1915 at a Casualty Clearing Station at Chocques,
near Bethune. His death was also reported in The
Gloucester Journal published on 17th June 1916.
He left a widow, Winifred
Milbanke Roberts of Tudhoe House, Tudhoe, Co Durham.
Their son, Capt Gerard Brian Roberts, 2nd Bn DLI, was killed in
action near Dunkirk on 27th May 1940.
Lt Col Roberts and his son are
remembered on a
commemorative plaque in St James's Church,
Hamsterley, near Bishop Auckland. Lt Col Roberts and
his brother, Frederick, are commemorated on the
Memorial in St Oswald's Churchyard,
Captain. 7th Battalion. Died of wounds in Mesopotamia (Iraq) on 2nd
March 1917. Buried in Amara War Cemetery. Aged 26.
Captain. 12th Battalion. Died of wounds in France on 10th September
1916. Buried in Corbie Communal
Cemetery extension. Aged 32.
Lieutenant. 10th Battalion. Killed in action in France on 25th
September 1915. Believed to be buried
in St Mary’s ADS Cemetery, Haisnes.
Lieutenant. Attached to 2nd
Battalion Devonshire Regiment. Killed in action in France on 18th
July 1916. Buried in Cambrin Churchyard
Extension. Aged 23.
Lieutenant, MiD. 12th
Battalion. Died of wounds in France on 28th
April 1918. Buried in Aire Communal
Cemetery. Aged 19.
Gwilliam Emanuel Henry
Battalion. Killed in action in France on 3rd
July 1916. Commemorated on Thiepval
Memorial. Aged 25.
Lieutenant. Seconded to 62nd
Squadron Royal Air Force. Killed in
aerial action in France
on 16th June 1918. Buried in
Roye New British Cemetery. Aged 19.
Major. 7th Battalion. Killed in action in Gallipoli on 8th
August 1915. Commemorated on Helles
Memorial. Aged 41.
Ruck was born at Epsom in 1874. His parents, Egerton
Winder Ruck and Margaret Bradshaw Ruck, were married in 1873.
Margaret died in 1876, aged 23, and Egerton later resided at
Mayfield House, Banstead Road, Cheam.
He was educated at *****************
and then attended the Royal Military College, Sandhurst
graduating on 21st October 1893. He was appointed to
a Regular Commission as a Second Lieutenant in the
He was posted to the 7th
(Service) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment who in August and
September 1914 were forming up in Horfield Barracks, Bristol as
part of the 39th Infantry Brigade, 13th (Western) Division, of
the First New Army in "Kitchener's Army". The fully
manned battalion was posted to Tidworth in January 1915 to
commence intensive field training which continued at Basingstoke
and then Blackdown Camp, Aldershot area, in February 1915.
In early June the Division was warned for service in Gallipoli
and by the middle of that month the battalion had set sail for
Lemnos. On 17th July the Division relieved the 29th
Division on the Helles front on the Gallipoli peninsular and the
following day moved into the line.
The plan was for the 13th
Division and another two fresh divisions to overcome the
deadlock on the Helles front by attacking the Sari Bair feature,
which dominated the ANZAC positions, and by opening another
front by landing at Suvla Bay. For that attack at
Sari Bair, the 13th Division reinforced the ANZAC Corps and on
5th August 1915 the battalion landed at Sulva Bay and moved some
way inland. On 7th August the battalion, with New
Zealand units assaulted the Chunuk Bair but the attack faltered
Captain. 2/6th Battalion. Killed in action in France on 19th
July 1916. Commemorated on Loos
Memorial. Aged 32.
Lieutenant. 10th Battalion. Killed in action in France on 13th
October 1915. Commemorated on Loos
Memorial. Aged 24.
Harley Raymond Russell was born at
Bristol in 1891. His parents Cecil Henry St Leger
Russell and Blanche Wellsted Russell, resided at 40, Clifton
Park Road, Clifton, Bristol and later at 2, Norland Road,
Clifton, Bristol. His father was a Master at Clifton
He was posted to
10th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment on 1st October 1915
joining the unit whilst it was stationed at Noeux-les-Mines in
the Loos Sector.
at 2pm on 13th October 1915 the
1st Division again attacked the German line being ordered to
capture the German trenches along the Lens road from the
junction of the Loos-Hulluch and the Lens-La Bassee roads
northwards to Hulluch, a distance of about 1400 yards.
This task was allotted to 1st Infantry Brigade, with 2nd
Infantry Brigade in support, which advanced in line with five
battalions over 300 yards of open ground screened by smoke.
At first the attacking battalions (10th Bn Glos Regt, 1st Bn
Black Watch, 1st Bn Cameron Highlanders, 8th Bn R Berks Regt and
1/14th Bn London Regt) encountered little opposition however as
they approached the German wire and the smoke cleared the
leading elements came under heavy and sustained machine gun and
rifle fire both from the front and the flanks. To
add to the attacking troops difficulties, the German wire had
not been cut by the preparatory artillery bombardment and
despite gallant attempts to get into the German trenches the
attack lost momentum and was called off. Lt Russell
and Lt F A Carnegy were killed in these actions and Lt L W
Hastie and 2Lt B Temple were wounded as well as around 150 other
ranks reported killed, wounded or missing.
Harley Russell's body was never
recovered from the battlefield, or identified, and he is
commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Panel 60 to 64.
He was reported "Missing,
Believed Killed" in The Times published on 29th October 1915.
Lieutenant. Seconded to 4th
Squadron Royal Flying Corps. Died of
wounds in Belgium
on 28th June 1917. Buried in
Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. Aged 20.