Richard SPEAKMAN
Rank: sergeant
Number: 265061
Unit: 1/6th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 16 September 1918
Age: 26
Cemetery: Westoutre British Cemetery, Westouter, Belgium

Richard had been born in Marple, the son of Charles Speakman. The 1901 Census records Charles as being then aged 47 and employed as the caretaker of a mission room. By the early 1920s, Charles had died.

He worked as a weaver's overlooker at Hollins Mill. He worshipped at Marple Congregational Church and had attended the Church Sunday School. He had a keen interest in the Scout movement, establishing Marple's first troop and becoming its scoutmaster.

He was also a member of the Territorial Army and was mobilised when war was declared in August 1914. He quickly volunteered for overseas service. An account of the Battalion's early service is here. He went overseas in the November, with the original service number 1117. During the winter of 1914/15, he was one of many members of his unit to suffer from frost bite and "trench foot" and he was invalided home. This is probably when he married Edith Willford and when their daughter was conceived. It is also around the time that he will have heard that his older brother, Robert, had been killed whilst serving with the Army Service Corps.

He returned to France and was wounded when a shell exploded about 3 yards from him. He was lucky that the splinter that hit him just missed his heart. 13 of his comrades were killed.

Click here for details of the day he was killed. Further details about Richard and his brother can be found in the book "Remembered" by P Clarke, A Cook and J Bintliff.

   
           
   
     
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