The son of Richard and Martha Clifford, Richard was born in Wolverhampton in 1892. In 1911, he was living at 1 Spring Street, Wolverhampton, with his parents and siblings Samuel, Sarah Ellen, Patty, Elizabeth, Albert and Julia Ann. Richard was an electrical engineering apprentice. He later worked for the Electric Construction Company. He married Sophia Davies in Wolverhampton in 1914, and they had a son, Joseph, born in 1915.
In January 1915, Richard enlisted with the 15th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (number 24430), later being attached to the Manchester Regiment, and became a Lance Corporal. On 21 May 1917, it was stated in the Express & Star that Richard had been reported missing. Unfortunately, he had been killed in action on 30 July 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, as well as on the Springfields Roll of Honour.