Personal info

  • Name: James Cleland RICHARDSON
  • D.O.B: 25th Nov, 1895
  • D.O.A: 9th Oct, 1916
  • D.O.D: 9th Oct, 1916
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Piper, 16th Battalion The Manitoba Regiment, (Canadian Scottish), 3rd Brigade, 1st Canadian Division, Canadian Expeditionary Force
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Near Courcelette, France 8-9 October 1916

8-9 October 1916

More details about:
The First World War 1916 

On 8 October 1916 the 1st Canadian Division attacked Regina Trench, part of the German line on Thiepval Ridge, north of Courcelette, but was driven back by fierce German resistance.


 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. 

Ninth Supplement to The London Gazette of 18 October 1918. 22 October 1918, Numb. 30967, p. 12488

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