The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own)

Alfred was born 10 Jan 1878 in Woolwich Kent.

He enlisted in India at Peshawar aged 14 years 11 months on 10 December 1892. Served through the ranks and was commissioned just prior to World War One. Campaigned in India and saw action in the Punjab Frontier. His father was a Bandmaster with the 3rd Bn. Rifle Brigade in Peshawar. Married Leah Jones on 28 May 1906. Was part of 1st Battalion of The Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own) and attached to the Machine Gun Corps for the latter part of his career.

He was in Colchester in August 1914, Part of 11th Brigade, 4th Division. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lt, 1st Oct 1914, Lt. on 20 Mar 1915, Capt. on 1 Jan 1917 . He received a Gunshot Wound on or prior to 26 Jan 1915 of which there is a communication back to his wife Leah, residing in Wales.

In addition to 1914 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal, Capt Alfred Richardson was holder of the India Medal 1895 (with the Punjab Frontier Medal ? Clasp 1897 ? 1898) and the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal.

He was a Colour Sergeant with H Company and was 33 when balloted for as a Joining member into Comrades Lodge in 1912.

He is number 276 in the Members Register and is also listed in the minutes on Page 148. His previously recorded lodge is stated to be Dublin Garrison Lodge No. 730 (Irish Constitution) and he went on to petition for Maguncor (Machine Gun Corps) Lodge 3806, now a London Lodge having moved there from Grantham.

This soldier / officer survived 26 years of military career, postings and campaigns but ironically succumb to either Influenza or Pnuemonia at 7am on the 24th November 1918, at Highfield Farm, Harlaxton Road, Grantham. Whilst this date is after Armistice Day, it is believed that Capt. Richardson was considered to be still on active service and therefore died in the service of his King and his Country.

His Service Records are visible at the National Archives in Kew under file ref: WO339/13679. It is sad to see that the majority of the documents held therein, contain many letters from his wife having difficulties claiming pension and administering probate. Even after his death his mess fees of 2/- would not go unnoticed and would need to be recovered from his estate. More amusingly, but not surprisingly, there is a letter from the Inland Revenue for death duties, querying his status as to whether he was killed on "active service".

His body is interred at the Mountain Ash Cemetery, in Maesyrarian, Rhondda in Wales and is looked after by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The Masonic Roll 1921 lists his name as Albert Edward Richardson.

Commemorated in the 1921 book the Masonic Roll of Honour and listed at memorial in the Shrine Room at the Headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England, Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London.