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…

Leonard Despicht in uniform

Final Richmond YCG WW1 film

We are delighted to present the last of the movies made by the Museum of Richmond Young Curators Group, inspired by our First World War collections. Amongst the material donated to the museum were the letters of Lieutenant Leonard Despicht, who was awarded the Military Cross for bravery. The letters were addressed mainly to his two…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 8 June 1915

In the edition of 14 June 1915, the Herald announced that William Henry Johnston VC had been killed in action on 8 June. As a Captain in the Royal Engineers, on 14 September 1914, at Missy on the River Aisne in France, William crossed the river seven times in a raft under constant fire to…

Cecil's WWI compass

WW1 compass from the Museum of Richmond exhibition

Another of the items featured in the Museum of Richmond exhibition, as well as in our schools learning resources, is the compass that belonged to Cecil Cloake. After the end of  the First World War, Cecil became a GP in Wimbledon and his son John wrote several history books about the Richmond area. The small…

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…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 25 February 1915

A local hero At Givenchy on 25 February 1915 Lieutenant Leonard Terrance Despicht of Kew was leading several soldiers in a storming party at Givenchy. He was buried by the explosion of a shell, dug out, but immediately shot. Despite his wounds, Leonard crawled to a position to continue conducting the operation.  He was awarded…