Richardson, Mervyn Stronge (Mervyn)
Mentioned in Despatches
1st Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Killed in action on Sunday 19 March 1916 (aged 21)
Point 110 New Military Cemetery, France (Grave D. 4)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Purton War Memorial in Wiltshire
Mervyn Stronge Richardson came from fighting stock that included General Sir Rollo Gillespie whose statue stands in Comber (a cousin of his great-grandfather) and Sir James Stronge of Tynan Abbey (his maternal great-grandfather).
Mervyn Richardson was born on 21 June 1894 in Killynether Castle, Newtownards and he was the youngest son of Captain Arthur Percy Richardson and Ethel Mary Emily Richardson (nee Stronge) who lived in Purton House, Purton in Wiltshire.
Arthur Percy Richardson and Ethel Mary Emily Stronge were married on 14 September 1887 in Aghadowey Parish Church of Ireland Church, Co Londonderry. Arthur Richardson, a gentleman from Lisburn was a son of Jonathan Richardson, a manufacturer. Ethel Stronge from Lizard Manor, Aghadowey was a daughter of Edmund Stronge, a land agent.
Captain Arthur Percy Richardson and Ethel Mary Emily Richardson (nee Stronge) had at least three children:
Unnamed Male (born 23 September 1888 in Killynether Castle, Newtownards)
Arthur Kenneth (born 6 March 1890 in Killynether Castle, Newtownards)
Mervyn Stronge (born 21 June 1894 in Killynether Castle, Newtownards)
Mervyn Richardson was educated at Bilton Grange, Rugby, Radley College and the Royal Military College Sandhurst. At Radley he was Captain of the Boats and a member of the Leander Club (a prestigious rowing club established in 1818).
Mervyn Richardson was commissioned on 15 August 1914 and in September 1914 he went to France with a draft, joined the 2nd Battalion on the Aisne and was in action continuously till he sustained a gunshot wound in the back on 10 April 1915 and was admitted to No. 3 General Hospital at Treport. He was injured again in September 1915 by an enemy grenade and he was killed in action at Fricourt on 19 March 1916 when he died after being blown into a water-filled shell-hole by an exploding shell.
In the records it is noted that, when he was in France, Mervyn Richardson acted as Captain of the Regimental Rugby Team and that he was one of five officers selected to meet King George V on the King’s first visit to the Army in the field.
Mervyn recorded details of ‘the extraordinary day’ he spent on Christmas Day 1914 when German and British soldiers met in no man’s land, shook hands, exchanged gifts and agreed to cease hostilities for the day.
Captain Mervyn Stronge Richardson was buried in Point 110 New Military Cemetery, France and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
I HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT
I HAVE FINISHED MY COURSE
Captain Mervyn Stronge Richardson is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial (in the War Memorial Booklet he is listed as having served in the Border Regiment) and on the Purton War Memorial in Wiltshire.