Richard Watkin WILLIAMSON
Rank: Private
Number: 93530
Unit: 13th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Date of Death: 29 August 1918
Age: 19 (based on probable Census identification)
Cemetery: Morval British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

Army records published after the War indicate Richard was born in Ludworth and was still living there when he joined the army. With such a common surname, identification of an individual can be difficult, but an examination of the 1901 Census suggests only one person of the name born in the area. This is one year old Richard Williamson, the youngest of the three children of Sidebottom Williamson, a labourer in a printworks, and Annie Williamson.

Richard's age and service number suggest that he will have been conscripted into the army when he became 18 and cannot have been at the front for too long before he was killed.

On 27 August 1918, the Fusiliers attacked towards the village of Longueval - scene of fierce fighting two years before during the Battle of the Somme. Just before reaching the village, they came under machine gun fire and suffered 100 casualties - dead or wounded. 30 prisoners were taken. They withdrew slightly and took up support positions behind the 14th and 16th Battalions.

The next day, reconnaissance patrols were sent out and they reported the village and the western edge of Delville Wood was now clear of the enemy. The Germans had pulled back under the cover of night. "A" and "C" Companies now set up an outpost line in Longueval.

In the early hours of the 29th, British artillery commenced shelling what were believed to be German positions still in Delville Wood. The whole Brigade of the three Fusilier Battalions now advanced towards the next village of Ginchy. Richard and his mates were still in the supporting position, some 400 yards behind the leading troops. The village was occupied without opposition and a few prisoners were taken. Richard was unfortunate to be one of the few casualties of the day, no doubt killed by enemy shellfire.

   
           
   
     
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