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Richmond WW1 Diary 16 June 1917

The Richmond communal kitchen opens |  The Herald of 16 June 1917 reported on the Mayor’s Food Economy Committee announcement that they would be opening the Richmond Communal Kitchen at St John’s House, Clarence Street, for the sale of dinners at twelve o’clock (noon). The paper emphasised that the kitchen was not a charity, but part…

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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 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…

Richmond WW1 Diary 6 April 1917

USA declares war on Germany In 1914 as war spread across Europe, the United States had adopted a policy of isolationism, aiming to stay aloof from European affairs. As it rapidly became clear that the scope of the war would not be limited to Europe, people within the US agitated for America to join the…