7 December 2023

I have finished my course. Leander.

Leander Member Sam Mainds has just returned from a tour of the Somme with recently retired Colonel Jeremy Pughe Morgan of the Royal Regiment of Wales (holding the photo).

Here he visited the grave of Leander Member Captain Mervyn Richardson, who was killed in action aged 21.

Leander lost about 250 members during WW2. Their names are on the Roll of Honour above the Dining Room door.

Here’s an account of Captain Mervyn Richardson’s life, written by Leander Club archivist, Robert Treharne Jones, when he also visited the grave during the Leander Battlefields Tour in 2016.

Robert writes:

Mervyn Richardson was born on 21 June 1894, at Killynether Castle, County Down. Both his father and grandfather had seen military service, and on going to school at Radley he became an efficient member of the OTC. 

As a member of the Boat Club he made two appearances at Henley, the first in 1912, where he rowed at 6 in the school’s Ladies Plate eight. (The Ladies’, when first established, was a trophy for competition by all academic crews – a status which remained unchanged until the 1960s.) Having beaten University College Oxford, Radley were then put out by Eton who went on to win the final. 

The following year, as Captain of Boats, he kept the same seat in the eight at Henley, but they were beaten by Christ Church, Oxford, in their first heat. 

On leaving school, Richardson went on to the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and was commissioned in 1914. He joined 2nd Royal Welch Fusiliers, commanding IV Platoon in ‘A’ Company, where his letters home from the trenches complained of ‘feeling fearfully tired, being in the most awful state of filth, and no wash for ten days’. Richardson was killed on 19 March 1916, after being caught by shells among the barbed wire which he had been checking with one of his men. 

Mervyn Richardson’s grave is at Point 110 New Military Cemetery, on the Somme. His headstone reads: ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course. Leander’.

Photo thanks to Robert Treharne Jones

Pin It on Pinterest