CORPORAL GEORGE RICHARDSON
2ND NOVEMBER 1917 AGE 22
BURIED: GAZA WAR CEMETERY, ISRAEL
"And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."
MARK Chapter 4 37-9
"Master, carest thou not that we perish"? This is the question the disciples woke Christ to ask when they were caught in a storm on the Sea of Galilee. Mrs Ellen Richardson, Corporal Richardson's mother, must have wondered whether Christ was 'sleeping' when so many hundreds of thousands of people died during the war - did neither he nor God care? Mrs Richardson will have chosen her inscription well after her son's death, and well after the end of the war. Is "peace be still" a plea for a lasting peace, one that Christ will oversee?
In 1911 Mrs Richardson was a widow working as a charlady. George, her fifteen-year-old son, one of her six children, worked in a shoe factory in Olney, Buckinghamshire where most of the population were involved in the shoe trade.
George served with the 5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment and went with it to Gallipoli, disembarking on 10 August 1915. His service with the 5th indicates that he had been a territorial soldier before the war. Evacuated with the rest of the British forces in January 1916, the 5th Bedfordshires served in the Suez Canal region until March 1917 when they went to Palestine. Here it took part in all three battles of Gaza. Richardson was killed in the Third.