Private, 6642, 26th Middlesex Regiment
Killed in Action, Salonika, Greece, 27 February 1917, aged c.33
Commemorated at the Anglo-French Military Cemetery, Lembet Road, Salonika, Grave 828

The Grand Hotel, Brighton

Born in Brighton in 1884, Albert Edward Richardson was the son of Charles James Richardson, a hotel waiter from Alfriston, and his wife Rose née Patching, a Brighton girl whom he had married in 1872. Albert was the penultimate child of a family of eight. In 1891 the family was living at Ashton Street in Brighton, but by 1901, Albert had followed his father into the 'hospitality' business and was working as a porter in the Grand Hotel in Brighton.

By 1907 he had left his home town, as in this year he married Clara Martin, somewhere in the East Grinstead Registration District. He had also changed his trade, as the 1911 census records him as a house painter, but also as a patient in Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead. Clara was at home in Forest Row with their two children, Albert Thomas Charles and Clara Bessie, born 1907 and 1909 respectively. Another son, Albert, was born in 1915.

Presumably Albert senior had fully recovered by the time he enlisted in the Middlesex Regiment, although there is no record of where or when he did this. This regiment is also known as the Duke of Cambridge's Own Regiment, and the 26th battalion (a service battalion) was also known as the 3rd Public Works Pioneers. It was formed in 1915 but when it landed in Salonika on 24 August 1916 it came under the command of the 27th Division as Pioneer Battalion.

The Long Long Trail website suggests there was little activity on the Salonika front in 1917, because of political changes in Greece. It names the Battle of Doiran in April as the first of the year, so presumably Albert Edward was killed in a more minor skirmish.

The Anglo-French Military Cemetery, Salonika

When Clara Richardson signed the Forest Row memorial book, she gave her address as 5, Castle Cottages. She was still living in Forest Row in 1939, but now at 2 Wood View, where her two adult sons — both plumbers — and her daughter (now Clara B. Conley) made up the rest of the household.

Pam Griffiths