Canadian Virtual War Memorial

James Clelland Richardson

In memory of
Piper
James Clelland Richardson
October 9, 1916

Military Service:

Service Number:
28930
Age:
20
Force:
Army
Unit:
Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment)
Division:
16th Battalion
Citation(s):
An extract from The London Gazette," No. 30967, dated October 18, 1918, records the following:
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when, prior to attack, he obtained permission from his Commanding Officer to play his company "over the top". As the Company approached the objective, it was held up by very strong wire and came under intense fire, which caused heavy casualties and demoralised the formation for the moment. Realising the situation, Piper Richardson strode up and down outside the wire, playing his pipes with the greatest coolness. The effect was instantaneous. Inspired by his splendid example, the company rushed the wire with such fury and determination that the obstacle was overcome and the position captured. Later, after participating in bombing operations, he was detailed to take back a wounded comrade and prisoners. After proceeding about 200 yards, Piper Richardson remembered that he had left his pipes behind. Although strongly urged not to do so, he insisted on returning to recover his pipes. He has never been seen since, and death has been presumed accordingly owing to lapse of time.
Honours and Awards:
Victoria Cross

Additional Information:

Born:
November 25, 1895 Bellshill, Scotland
Enlistment:
September 23, 1914 Valcartier, Québec

Son of David and Mary Prosser Richardson, of Princess Avenue, Chilliwack, British Columbia.

Commemorated on Page 154 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

James Clelland Richardson is a recipient of the Victoria Cross.
Complete list of Canadian Victoria Cross Recipients

Burial Information:

Cemetery:
ADANAC MILITARY CEMETERY ; Somme, France
Grave Reference:
III. F. 36.
Location:
Miraumont is a village about 14.5 kilometres north-north-east of Albert and the Cemetery is some 3 kilometres south of the village on the east side of the road to Courcelette (D107). The ADANAC MILITARY CEMETERY is signposted in the centre of Miraumont.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Photograph
  • Attestation Paper (front)
  • Attestation Paper (back)
  • Award Citation – Personal Information Sheet
  • Service Records – Casualty Form - Active Service
  • Service Records
  • Biographical Information
  • Newspaper Clipping – Hero's pipes return to B.C.
Taken from The Province Newspaper.
  • Memorial – JAMES CLELLAND RICHARDSON is honoured inside the British Columbia's Legislature Building at Victoria. (J.Stephens)
  • Photo of James Clelland Richardson – Submitted for the project, Operation: Picture Me
  • Memorial – JAMES CLELLAND RICHARDSON is honoured inside the British Columbia's Legislature Building at Victoria. (J.Stephens)
  • Memorial – JAMES CLELLAND RICHARDSON is honoured inside the British Columbia's Legislature Building at Victoria. (J.Stephens)
  • Memorial – JAMES CLELLAND RICHARDSON is honoured inside the British Columbia's Legislature Building at Victoria. (J.Stephens)
  • Burial Report – The CWGC "Concentration of Graves (Exhumation and Reburials) - Burial Return" shows that Piper James Richardson, V.C. was exhumed from a battlefield grave north of the Le Sars and reburied in Adanac Military Cemetery in Plot 3 Row F Grave 36. The exhumation was recorded on June 11, 1920.
  • Map – The precise location where Private Richardson's remains were found are marked on this 1916 Trench Map from October 7, 1916 "57cSW1 Geudecourt Edition 2A OS 1916". The blue star with the yellow fill marks the location of Map 57c Sector M16 Grid a.4.5 where he was exhumed in June of 1920. Each large square (i.e. M16) is 1,000 yards by 1,000 yards and each small square (i.e. M16 a) is 500 yards by 500 yards. Each small square has 10 x 10 grids, each therefore representing 50 yards.
  • Newspaper Clipping
  • Cenotaph – Barrie Military Park, Canadian Victoria Cross Recipients, Cenotaph
  • Grave Marker
  • Grave Marker of James C. Richardson

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