No. 976613, 10 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Killed in action on Sunday 11 May 1941 (aged 29)
Kiel War Cemetery, Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany (Collective Grave 3. J. 18-20)
In the 17 May 1941 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle under the headline Comber Man’s Brother Reported Missing it was reported that Sergeant Robert Richardson (No. 976613) had been reported missing. Robert Richardson was the younger son of Robert and Elizabeth (Eliza) A. Richardson (nee McConaghy) of Ramoan, Whitewell, Belfast and he was a brother of Mr Charles Richardson who was a cashier in the Comber branch of the Northern Bank.
Robert Richardson Senior from Bushmills was a schoolteacher and he and Eliza McConaghy, a daughter of Daniel McConaghy, were married on 14 July 1896 in Second Ballymoney Presbyterian Church. They had at least six children:
Margaret (born 15 June 1897 in Bushmills)
Sarah Ann (born 2 May 1899 in Bushmills)
Elizabeth Jane (born 29 January 1901 in Bushmills)
Charles (born 29 January 1903 in Ballycastle)
Robert (born 2 July 1911 in Townparks, Ballycastle)
Margaret (Martha, born 12 August 1913 in Ballycastle)
Sergeant Robert Richardson (No. 976613) served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and on 10 May 1941 he was one of a five-man-crew aboard an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mark V aircraft (P5048) that took off from RAF Leeming in Yorkshire at 10.25 pm on a mission to bomb Hamburg. At 2.23 am on 11 May they reported that the target had been attacked and after that the aircraft disappeared without trace.
After Sergeant Robert Richardson was reported missing on 11 May 1941 it was later confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action. The other crew members who died that night were:
- Flying Officer Peter Beckford Gough (aged 23) from Wivenhoe, Essex
- Sergeant Frederick Gordon Stewart (aged 27) from Newquay, Cornwall
- Sergeant Leonard Manchip (aged 21) from Battersea, London
- Sergeant Desmond Frank Fitzwilliam Watson (aged 19) from Hounslow, Middlesex
After the war, his grave was located and his body was exhumed and reinterred in Kiel War Cemetery, Germany. There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN
AND IN THE MORNING
WE WILL REMEMBER
Sergeant Robert Richardson (No. 976613) was 29 when he died.