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Richmond WW1 Diary 17 August 1917

Death of Leslie Orsborn – one of The Alberts dead | Leslie John Orsborn served in a cycle battalion, the Bridlington Cyclists. On the eve of the First World War, the Territorial Force had fourteen cyclist battalions. None of the territorial cycling units saw service overseas in the first months of the war, all being used…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 4 August 1917

Anniversary of the start of the war | News of offensives were understandably kept quiet, so not to fall into enemy hands. Once a battle had begun, it took time for reports and news of casualties to reach home. So as the battle raged at Passchendaele, people in Richmond were preparing to commemorate the 4th…

Young British Tommies from the Cycle Corps posing with their bikes

Richmond WW1 Diary 31 July 1917

Start of the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) & Death of Arthur Edward Burt – one of The Alberts dead | Passchendaele was a small village five miles from Ypres, part of the strategic line along the Messines ridge protecting the Allied ports. The area saw intense fighting throughout the war and by the end…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 24 July 1917

Death of William Wells – one of The Alberts dead | When William John Wells died he was a bombardier, equivalent of a corporal in the artillery, in B Battery, 153rd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. When he lived on Princes Road, Richmond, he was a fishmonger, a husband, a father. William was killed in action…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 7 July 1917

Bomb raids pass over Richmond | Although air raids are more commonly associated with the Second World War, German planes pursued a strategic bombing campaign during the First World War. However, although the planned targets were military, such as training camps and munitions factories, location equipment on board the planes were so poor, bombs often fell…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 7 June 1917

Messines ridge destroyed | On 17 June 1917 a huge underground explosion destroyed the German-held Messines ridge south of Ypres. British, Australian and Canadian miners had worked for a year to dig tunnels and place 600 tonnes of explosives. Some 10,000 German soldiers were killed instantly and the blast was heard as far away as…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 27 May 1917

Mutiny of French forces | Conditions for the French soldiers had deteriorated severely by the Spring of 1917, with men living – and dying – in muddy, rat and lice-infested trenches. On 27 May 1917 the mutinous atmosphere turned into open insubordination and soldiers refused orders to advance. The Commander-in-Chief, Henri Petain, ordered mass arrests,…