1914-18          Rayne War Memorial       1939-45

In Memory of
Private 12250
9th Bn., Essex Regiment
who died on Tuesday, 12th October 1915.

War Graves
            Casualty_Details :       527703
Personal Information

Date of birth 15th June 1895.

Son of William and Susan Richardson (nee Dark), married at All Saints on 22nd July 1882, who lived at Kings Farm, Shalford Road. Born and lived in Rayne. The family consisted of Sarah, Ellen, Edith, Emma, William, Mary, Burton, Thomas Charles and Alice Maud. There was another sibling George who would have been one of the eldest children but died aged 3 months.

Alec (as he was known) went to Rayne School, being admitted on 2nd December 1901, leaving on 10th June 1908 to work on a farm and by 1911 his occupation was shown as Nurseryman.

Enlisted at Chelmsford.

Memorial: Grave
Reference/Panel Number:

Loos-en-Gohelle is a village 5 kilometres north-west of Lens. Dud Corner Cemetery is located about 1 kilometre west of the village, to the north-east of the N43 the main Lens to Bethune road. The Loos Memorial forms the side and back of Dud Corner Cemetery and commemorates over 20,000 officers and men who have no known grave, who fell in the area from the River Lys to the old southern boundary of the First Army, east and west of Grenay.

The name "Dud Corner" is believed to be due to the large number of unexploded enemy shells found in the neighbourhood after the Armistice. The only burials here during hostilities were those of four Officers of the 9th Black Watch and one Private of the 8th Royal Dublin Fusiliers, close to Plot III, Row B; the remainder of the graves were brought in later from small cemeteries and isolated positions near Loos and to the North.

There are now nearly 2,000, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over half are unidentified and special headstones have been erected to 15 soldiers from the United Kingdom who are believed to be buried among them. The great majority of the dead buried here fell in the Battle of Loos, 1915; but some were killed in succeeding years. The regimental memorials brought to the Cemetery included those of the 10th Scottish Rifles and the 17th London Regiment, dating from the Battle of Loos, and those of the Royal Montreal Regiment and the Royal Highlanders of Canada, dating from the Battle of Hill 70 in August, 1917. Special memorials are erected in this Cemetery to twelve soldiers of the 2nd Welch Regiment, killed in action on the 12th October, 1915, and buried in Crucifix Cemetery, Loos, whose graves could not be found on concentration.

The cemetery now covers an area of 5,550 square metres, and is bounded by a low rubble wall except on the road side, where the War Stone is raised on a grass terrace and flanked by buildings.

The more important of the small cemeteries concentrated into Dud Comer Cemetery were the following:-.

TOSH CEMETERY, LOOS, on the North side of the village, close to the communication trench called Tosh Alley. It contained the graves of 171 soldiers from the United Kingdom (118 of whom were Irish) and five from Canada. It was used from October, 1915, to September, 1917.

CRUCIFIX CEMETERY, LOOS, a little West of Tosh Cemetery. It was used from September, 1915, to May, 1916, and it contained the graves of 53 soldiers from the United Kingdom.

LE RUTOIRE BRITISH CEMETERY, VERMELLES, close to Le Rutoire Farm, which is on Loos Plain, near the village of Vermelles. It was used in 1915, and contained the graves of 82 soldiers from the United Kingdom and six French soldiers.

Theatre of War

The week of the 10th to 18th October 1915 was a sad one for many families in Rayne. Five men died, all members of the 9th Essex Regiment. All were killed by shell fire which landed on their trench as they waited to attack during the early hours of 12th October, this was part of the beginning of the Battle of Loos.