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Richard was born in Brierley Hill, Staffordshire in around 1883. In 1901 he was living with his parents, William and Elizabeth, at 65 Delph, Brierley HIll, alongside siblings Samuel, Thomas, Nancy, Elizabeth, Mary and Margaret.

He became a police officer and joined the Wolverhampton Borough Police Force on 1 January 1907. In 1908 he married Mary Jane Summerfield in Wolverhampton. By 1911, he was living at 13 Mitre Fold, Wolverhampton, together with his wife Mary Jane, daughters Annie Elizabeth and Nellie, and his sister, Mary Emma. They later had a son, Richard William, who was born in 1912.

On the outbreak of war, he joined the 3rd Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment (number 7424) and became a Lance Corporal. Richard was killed in action on 7 November 1914 at Ploegsteert. This was noted in the Chief Constable’s Report Book on 21 December 1914. He is commemorated at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, as well as in the Lady Chapel of St Peter’s Church in Wolverhampton.