Richard Cundall Pickering

royal field artillery badgeCorporal, L/5783, Y/59 Medium Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Field Artillery, died of wounds, 6th November 1918, aged 22

Born at Crowle in January 1896, Richard was the brother of Percy and the youngest son of the eight children of Wade and Kate Pickering (nee Cundall). His mother was from Crowle and his father from Swineshead near Boston, had set up in business as a chemist in Crowle since the early 1880’s. In 1901 the family were living at Field House, Fieldside where Wade had diversified from the chemist shop into being a photographer and boat owner.

Unfortunately Wade died shortly after the 1901 census was taken and sometime in the 1900’s Kate moved the family to Doncaster. In 1911 when Richard was a pupil at the Masonic School, Bushey, his mother was living at 80 Beckett Road, Wheatley, although when her sons enlisted she had moved to Tempest Road, off Dewsbury Road, in Leeds.

Richard enlisted as a Driver in the Royal Field Artillery in 1914 or 1915. He was posted out to France on 29th December 1915  just in time to qualify for the 1914-1915 Star.

As the war came towards it’s end in November 1918 Richard was serving with Y/59 Medium Trench Mortar Battery, formed in January 1917 as part of the 59th Divisional Artillery support. During the final Allied advance the 59th Division were engaged on the French/Belgian border around the city of Lille. They liberated the city itself in mid-October and were welcomed in by thousands of its inhabitants. Continuing south and east they liberated Valenciennes on 23rd October and then moved into Belgium towards Tournai. At the Armistice they were north-east of Tournai, facing Lessines.

At some point during this advance, possibly during a passage of intense fighting on the River Scheldt, Richard was wounded in action. Taken for medical attention to Toufflers, near Roubaix, he died here of his wounds on 6th November 1918. He is buried in Toufflers Communal Cemetery.

Richard was the final man with a Crowle connection to loose his life during the war. Like his brother he is not commemorated on Crowle War Memorial but his death was mentioned in the Crowle Advertiser. It is not known if he is commemorated on any other War Memorial.

richard pickering in crowle advertiser