Richard Perkins EDWARDS
Rank: Private
Number: 227112
Unit: 1st Battalion MONMOUTHSHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 8 October 1918
Age: 25
Cemetery: Sequehart British Cemetery No. 1, Aisne, France

Richard was the third child of the family and was probably the only son. He was named after his father who had married Elizabeth Simpson in the Hayfield area in 1883. His two older sisters had been born in Derbyshire but the family moved to Stockport in the early 1890s. When the census was taken in 1901, they were living at 20 Alpine Road (and later at 15 Caistor Street).

When Richard decided to join up, he travelled to Warrington to enlist. He must have been determined to join the South Lancashire Regiment which had its Headquarters there and he was successful. He was given the service number 27187. However, Richard was to be thwarted in his aim as, after finishing his training, he was transferred to the Monmouths before going overseas on active service. His new number indicates he did not go abroad until after the beginning of 1917.

During the afternoon of 7 October 1918, the Monmouths received orders to assist with a general attack on the German positions by capturing two enemy machine gun emplacements. They were in position by 10pm with "B" Company on the eastern outskirts of Sequehart. The plan was that British artillery would shell the emplacements. There would also be a barrage which would roll across No Man's Land with two platoons of the Company keeping close behind its protective curtain. As they neared the emplacements, the artillery would cease fire and the Monmouths would rush the Germans.

The Company commander, Captain Abbott, led the attack at 5.10am but it was repulsed with heavy casualties. Abbott was wounded. Another attempt was made at 6am. The Battalion Adjutant, Captain James, led the remaining two platoons of "B" Company. This was supported by two platoons from "C" Company. Again heavy casualties were sustained with James being killed.

At 6.30am, Colonel Jenkins gave orders to break off the engagement and dig-in. He was badly wounded five minutes later. The Battalion was pinned down for the remainder of the day, by continued machine gun and artillery fire. The machine gun emplacements were captured during the afternoon by a battalion of West Yorkshires. They took 250 prisoners and approximately 20 machine guns.

Richard was one of 33 men to be killed during the day.

   
           
   
     
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