Harold Arthur David Richards 1874-1942
Harold Arthur David Richards was an early member of the (Hampstead Nomads) recorded as present at AGMs and EGMs for several years prior to WW1. Marcus Budgen has researched the following about him and his war record
A Nomad’s War
A Brief History of Lieutenant Colonel H.A.D. Richards, C.M.G., D.S.O.
Harold Arthur David Richards was born on the 16th February 1874, the son of the late Reverend A.J. Richards, of Farlington, Hampshire. Educated at Charterhouse, he joined the 3rd Battalion Gloucestershire Militia in 1893, later being commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment on the 6th June 1896. He was married to Miss Helen Dorothy Parker, of Eastbourne during 1899, who later provided our Nomad with issue of one daughter.
However, with the troubles in South Africa, the honeymoon year was cut short, with Harold receiving a promotion and transfer (as Lieutenant) to the Army Service Corps for the duration of the conflict. The Boer War included Operations in the Orange Free State in early 1900, including the action at Dreifontein, later serving in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. His services were rewarded with two mentions in the dispatches (September 1901, July 1902) together with a Brevet Majority in June 1902.
In the early 20th Century Richards served as the Adjutant of Territorial Force A.S.C. throughout 1911, together with touring with the Nomads in the summer of 1913. Nomads played games throughout Sussex, taking a touring party of fourteen, including Harold’s brother A.F.H. Richards, who served on the Nomads Committee that same year.
With the beginning of the Great War, another promotion resulted with Major Richards becoming Lieutenant Colonel Richards. It was certainly not a quiet War, which is confirmed by his awards and mentions. Harold was mentioned in dispatches no fewer than four times, was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1917, awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre and finally bestowed with a Companionship of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael & St. George in 1919.
Following the War, he is first encountered upon the retired pay lists of 1921. The services to the Army can be seen in the Orders, Decorations and Medals Lt. Col. Richards received during his career, these being;
Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael & St George, Distinguished Service Order, Queen’s South Africa Medal 1899-1902 (three clasps), King’s South Africa Medal 1901-1902 (two clasps), 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal (with Mention in Dispatches Oak Leaf), Belgian Croix de Guerre
Lt Col Richards resided at The Corner House, Godalming, Surrey in later life, passing away on Christmas Day 1942.
By Marcus Budgen
The research for the above article was completed with the kind access to the library and archives of Spink & Son, London.