1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

Urbane Carman Richardson

Contributed by: Patricia A. Boxford, on 2008-11-11

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First Name Urbane Carman
Surname Richardson
Year of Birth 1886
Year of Death 1918
Regiment Royal Field Artillery
Place of Wartime Residence Fakenham, Norfolk

Urbane Carman's Story

Urbane Carman Richardson was the youngest son of Richard Richardson and Emily (nee Carman) and was born in Fakenham, Norfolk in 1886. His mother died when he was a baby and together with his brothers and sisters he was fostered out with friends and relatives. He was newly married when he went off to fight in the First World War. His death certificate states that he was in "K" Battery, Royal Horse Artillery and I believe they fought in the battles of Ypres, Arras and the Somme. After spending several years in France he was sent home for a rest aboard the Hospital Ship "Warilda", which was engaged upon the Southampton, Le Havre run. On August 3rd, 1918, she was returning from France with 700 wounded when she was torpedoed and sunk by submarine UC-49, with a very heavy loss of life. The weather was thick but the white hull and red crosses of the ship were fairly discernable. The submarine had been sighted on the surface and the "Warilda" tried to ram the enemy vessel but failed and was then struck by the torpedo. The "Warilda" remained afloat for two hours and then sank, taking with her 123 persons. My mother said that the soldiers were trapped and could be heard singing hymns as they went down. The ship went down in the Channel, seven miles south of Shoreham-on-Sea. I thought this was such a tragedy when the war was nearly at an end and home just in sight. Urbane Richardson is remembered with honour at the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton. He is also remembered on the Fakenham War Memorial.

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