Private Richard Edmondson
Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.
Richard Edmondson was born in the 2nd quarter of 1882 according to the England and Wales Birth Index, or on the 27th of February 1882 according to the 1889 and 1892 National School Admission Registers, in Dorking or Epsom Surrey to carpenter and joiner James Albert Edmondson and Annie Edmondson nee Dillon.
Richard Edmondson was baptised on the 6th of August 1884 at St Martin’s church in Dorking. At this time Richard’s father James Albert worked as a carpenter and the family lived at Church Gardens in Dorking.
Richard’s father James Albert Edmondson was born in the 2nd quarter of 1859 in the Registration District of Newington in London to John Edmondson and Emma Edmondson. James Albert was baptised on the 9th of November 1859 in Dorking, Surrey.
Richards mother Annie Dillon was born about 1862 in Ireland.
James Albert Edmondson and Annie Dillon married in the 4th quarter of 1881 in Wandsworth, London.
Richard Edmondson was born in 1882 in Dorking or Epsom, Surrey.
Richard Edmondson had 9 known siblings: Albert John Edmondson born in 1884 in Dorking, Surrey; Edmund Edmondson born in 1885 in Dorking, Surrey; James Albert Edmondson born in 1887 in Dorking, Surrey; Margaret Alice born in 1889 in Dorking, Surrey; Henry Edmondson born in 1891 in Dorking, Surrey; May Edmondson born in 1893 in Dorking, Surrey; William Francis Edmondson born about 1895 in Dorking, Surrey; Ethel Annie Edmondson born in 1897 in Dorking Surrey and Harold John Edmondson born in 1902 in Dorking, Surrey.
On the 6th of May 1889 Richard was admitted to the Dorking British School. At this time the family lived at 2 Church Gardens in Dorking. Richard is stated as previously attending Dorking Infant School.
At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at 16 Church Gardens in Dorking, Surrey. James Albert Edmondson was working as a carpenter and joiner and Annie was looking after their children Richard, Edmund, James Albert and Margaret Alice.
On the 1st of February 1892 Richard Edmondson was admitted into St Martin’s Church of England School for boys in Dorking. The family still lived at Church Gardens. Richard left the school on the 27th of March 1896.
At the time of the 1901 Census, the family lived at 16 Church Gardens in Dorking. James was working as a carpenter and Annie was looking after their children Edmund, James Albert, Margaret Alice, May, William Francis and Ethel Annie.
Richard Edmondson enlisted on the 10th of September 1902 in Woolwich, Kent to the 2nd Battalion the Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort’s Own). He became a rifleman with a regimental number 9231. At the time of Richard’s enlistment he lived at Bournemouth in Hampshire (now Dorset) and was working as a bricklayer’s labourer. Richard enlisted for 3 years with the Colours and 9 years in the Reserve.
Richard was over 5ft tall and weighed 118lbs. He had a dark complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair. He had also a scar on chin and left elbow.
Richard received several punishments during his early days in the Army. In 1903 he was drunk in Hampshire Terrace at about 10.15pm; in 1904 Richard was absent from Batteries Parade at 5pm and broke out of barracks whilst a prisoner at large, remaining absent until 11pm; in 1908 he created a disturbance in a tent at about 10.45pm and used threatening language to a NC Officer.
Richard served from the 10th of September 1902 to the 11th of April 1904 at home, from the 12th of April 1904 to the 15th of November 1905 in Malta, from the 16th of November 1905 to the 22nd of August 1914 in India.
At the time of the 1911 Census, Richard Edmondson was in India serving as a Rifleman of the 2nd Battalion the Rifle Brigade.
Richard returned home from India on the 23rd of August 1914 and stayed there until 4th of November 1914. On the 5th of November 1914 he became part of the British Expeditionary Force until his death on the 26th of January 1915.
Richard disembarked in France on the 7th of November 1914.
Richard Edmondson died on the 26th of January 1915. The 2nd Battalion the Rifle Brigades’ war diary reads, that on this date the enemy continued sniping all day.
He is buried at Fauquissart Military Cemetery in Laventie, France. His grave reference is E5.
Richard Edmondson received a 2nd class Certificate of Education, the Mounted Infantry Certificate, the Coronation Durbar Medal (received on the 12 of December 1911), the British War and Victory Medals and the 1914 Star.
Richard was in the Army for 12 years and 139 days.
The 1915 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser reads, that Richard was extremely bright and popular man. He came over from India with the 2nd Indian Contingent a short while ago. He was in India for over dozen years. Prior to going to the front Richard was granted a few days leave during which he visited his parents at 16 Church Gardens in Dorking. In his early days he was a member of St Martin’s Church Choir.
Richard’s father James Albert received £18, 6s and 2d in 1915 and £5 in 1919 in Soldier’s Effects.
James Albert also received his son’s effects: 3 pipes and a packet of letters in 1915. Everything was sent to 79 Hartfield Crescent in Wimbledon, London.
In 1918 Richard’s father James Albert and brothers Edmund, James Albert and William lived at 136 Commercial Road in Bournemouth. His mother Annie still lived with her youngest son Harold at 16 Church Gardens in Dorking.
Richard’s father James Albert Edmondson, of 72 Fairfield Drive, Dorking, died at the age of 90 in 1950. He was buried on the 6th of May 1950 at St Martin’s church in Dorking.
Born Epsom, Surrey
Lived Bournemouth, Dorset
Son of Mr James and Annie Edmondson, 16 Church Gardens, Dorking
School Dorking British School (Powell Corderoy School)
Enlisted Woolwich, Kent
Regiment 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade
Date Overseas 7th November 1914
Date of Death 22nd January 1915
Place of Death France
Cause of Death Killed in Action
Cemetery Fauquissart Military Cemetery, Laventie, Pas de Calais