Simple wooden cross grave marker from First World War

Richmond WW1 Diary 1 July 1916

Start of the Battle of the Somme Expected to be a decisive battle and a clear victory for the Allies, the Somme started with a seven-day artillery bombardment. It was the largest ever seen and was intended to destroy the enemy guns, to allow the troops to march across No Mans Land to take the German…

Richmond WW1 Diary 1 April 1916

The Royal Star and Garter Home The idea behind the Royal Star & Garter Home was to provide pleasant surroundings, the best treatment, and as interesting and useful occupations as possible for the disabled servicemen returning from the trenches. The Herald of 1 April 1916 reported: “All that human love and care can give will be…

Image of poppy

Richmond WW1 Diary 17 March 1916

St Patrick’s Day While the day was little marked in Richmond, St Patrick’s Day 1916 in Dublin foreshadowed the Easter Rising. Thousands of men who had enlisted in the Irish Volunteers, a militia force dedicated to the pursuit of Irish independence, had joined parades in Dublin and Cork city and elsewhere across Ireland. The following…

Richmond WW1 Diary 14 February 1916

The Valentines The Commonwealth War graves Commission website provides details of all those who died during the First World War and have recorded burials. A search of their database reveals 129 men called Valentine died during the war. They were Privates, Officers, Gunners, Pilots, Able Seamen, Fusiliers and even a Cyclist. The youngest was 18 year…

Dorothy Hardy and several unknown colleagues

Richmond’s forgotten WW1 stories

Forgotten stories One of the items featured in the Museum of Richmond First World War exhibition, as well as in our schools learning resources, is the MBE awarded to Dorothy Hardy. It was loaned by Dorothy’s daughter, Jean. Dorothy was one of nine children of the successful artist Thomas Bush Hardy. During the First World…

Workers outside the Pelabon Factory in Twickenham

Belgian WW1 refugees arrive in Richmond

When Belgium was invaded in August 1914, thousands of refugees fled. Many came to Britain, supported by charities and the government. In Richmond the Cercle Français became the core of the Refugee Support Committee. Local businessmen and their wives formed groups in the sister boroughs of Teddington and Barnes, and set up hostels for refugees.…

headshot of William Milem, WWI soldier

Memories of a Richmond WW1 soldier

As nations around the world commemorate the sacrifices of the First World War, it can seem difficult to find the relevance of a war that ended 100 years ago.  But of course the story of the war did not end in 1918: The ripples of the conflict spread across the 20th century and can still…