A Well Clad Colonel!
Lieutenant Colonel Francis Arnold Richmond ERD** Royal Engineers
The Man Francis Arnold Richmond was born on 30th September 1910, son of William P, an Electrical Engineer and Carmen (a Chilean by birth) in Saltburn by the Sea, Guisboro, North Yorkshire and was christened a Roman Catholic. His National Insurance number was TX14/25/34/B and he attended Sebergh School in Cumbria joining the Officer Training Corps as a Cadet. During the second quarter of 1936 and aged 26, Francis married Teresa Gertrude I Ryan in Stockton, they had one daughter Wendy Elizabeth born in 1937. On 12th April 1939 he was Commissioned into the Supplementary Reserve of Officers, Royal Engineers as 2nd Lieutenant, service number 89650 and at the outbreak of World War 2 was called up and embodied within the Royal Engineers, being described as 5’.5” tall, with blue eyes and brown hair. By 1946 he had risen to the rank of Temporary Major although still a Lieutenant and War Substantive Captain and was awarded the 1939-1945, France and Germany Stars, Defence and War Medal 1939-45. On 4th April 1946 he was Mentioned in Despatches for gallant and distinguished services in North West Europe. After the war Francis and Teresa lived at ‘Meadowside’ Barnly Dun, Doncaster and was transferred into the Regular Army Reserve of Officers. Promoted to Captain on 21st May 1949 with seniority from 1st November 1947 and granted the Honorary rank of Major the same day.
During 1948 Francis, Teresa and Wendy went abroad to Portugal, it is unknown whether this was a holiday or business, but they sailed back First Class aboard Highland Monarch, of the Royal Mail Line Limited, embarking at Lisbon and docking at Tilbury, London on 30th October. On 22nd July 1952 he transferred into the Army Emergency Reserve of Officers as Captain (Honorary Major) with seniority from 31st August 1948 and appointed Squadron Commander of 128 Engineering Workshop Regiment (AER) at Long Marston the same day. He was promoted to Major on 30th June 1953 with seniority from 31st March 1953 and was by now living at 14 Sandown Drive, Sale, Cheshire. On 4th June 1954 he was awarded the Army Emergency Reserve Decoration (ERD) for 12 years service and one of 286 awarded during the year. On 1st November 1954 he was promoted to Acting Lieutenant Colonel and made Officer Commanding of 128 EW Regiment, still based at Headquarters Army Emergency Reserve Royal Engineers Long Marston. Full promotion followed on 29th May 1956 with seniority backdated to1st November 1954. On 1st November 1961 he was transferred back into the Regular Army Reserve of Officers and on 19th January 1962 awarded the first and second clasps to his ERD totalling 24 years service, only seven and one being awarded respectively during the year. On 30th September 1965 aged 55 he retired from the Army relinquished his Commission and was granted the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In later life Francis lived at 5 Fernhill Close, Kenilworth, Warwickshire and in his civilian life worked as a partner at Thermal Insulation Consultants at Newland House, Hagley Road, Birmingham. Teresa died in 1991 and Francis passed away on 23rd March 1996.
The Story The medals awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Francis Arnold Richmond were acquired from E-Bay on 1st July 2008. They were of interest because of the Army Emergency Reserve Decoration with an additional two long service clasps, the Mention in Despatches and the paperwork available with them.
Routine checks of the London Gazette together with the paperwork in the collection and ancestry.com made it possible to piece together a brief biography of Francis. His will was extracted from the Family Records Division, Holborn in London and this identified that he was living in Kenilworth and at the time of his death and had been survived by his daughter and Granddaughter. Enquiries are ongoing to trace his family and to expand on his life story.
- 1939-45 Star: Unnamed as awarded.
- France & Germany Star: Unnamed as awarded.
- Defence Medal: Unnamed as awarded.
- War Medal 1939-45: Unnamed as awarded.
- Emergency Reserve Decoration: 1954. Clasps: 1962
This page last updated 13 Mar 17