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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,…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 5 May 1917

More rationing |  The Richmond Herald published notices on the advised rations for children:   Bread Meat Sugar Under 10 years 3lb 1 1/2lb 1/2lb 10-13 years 4lb 2lb 1/2lb 13-18 years 5lb 2 1/2lb 1/2lb The local papers were filled with articles on food prices, rationing, and proposals for a communal kitchen. By May…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 3 May 1917

Death of Charles Amor, one of The Alberts dead |  Charles Ernest Amor was a young man of 26, killed in action at Arras on 3 May 1917. He was a corporal serving in the East Surrey Regiment. His parents, William and Mary, lived at 3 Lorne Road, the Alberts. By the start of the…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 1 May 1917

Death of John Springett, one of The Alberts dead |  John James Springett grew up in The Alberts. His parents lived at 87 Albert Road and before that the family lived at 66 Princes Road. John was married at the time of his death, with two daughters. His wife Edith later remarried and moved with…

Richmond WW1 Diary 28 April 1917

First VC awarded to Richmond local The first local Victoria Cross winner was Lieutenant Reginald Leonard Haine of Sheendale Road, Richmond. He was awarded the VC ‘for valour in the face of the enemy’ in 1917. He lead his men during 30 hours of continuous fighting between 28-29 April, holding of the enemy in trenches near…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 23 April 1917

Death of Ernest Enright, one of The Alberts dead Ernest’s story reveals something of the reality for many men who rushed to join the army in 1914. Ernest was the son of a widow who took in laundry to support her family. In 1911, aged 16, Ernest was out of work, as was his 17…