Richard was born on 15th January 1886 in Douglas, the capital of the Isle of Man to parents Richard Andrew and Rose. On the 1891 census he was recorded with his widow Grandmother Ann Jones along with her four children, the youngest aged fifteen at 9 Mount Grove, Birkenhead, Cheshire . Richard was aged five and attended school.
On the 1901 census which was taken a few months before Richard signed up with the Navy, he was recorded being at Ashton under Lyne Barracks in Hartshead as a Private, aged seventeen. He may not have been suitable for the Army and attestation papers cannot be found so he enlisted with the Navy shortly afterwards, for twelve years, recorded as having RJ tattooed on his left arm and two tattooed dots on his right arm and right hand. His statistics showed him as being 5’5” tall with dark brown hair and brown eyes.
HMS BOSCAWEN - 30/07/1901 - 15/07/1902, training as Boy 2nd Class, rising to Boy 1st Class on 27/05/1902
HMS MINOTAUR - 16/07/1902 - 27/01/1903
HMS AGINCOURT - 28/01/1903 - 07/04/1903
HMS SANO PAREIL - 08/04/1903 - 23/12/1903
HMS RESOLUTION - 24/12/1903 - 06/06/1904, rising to Ordinary Seaman on 15/01/1904
HMS PEMBROKE I - 07/06/1904 - 20/06/1904
HMS SWIFTSURE - 21/06/1904 - 07/06/1906, rising in rating to Able Seaman on 21/09/1905
HMS PEMBROKE I - 08/06/1906 - 10/07/1906
HMS WILDFIRE - 11/07/1906 - 22/05/1908
HMS DOMINION - 23/05/1908 - 05/06/1910, rising in rating to Leading Seaman on 24/01/1910
HMS PEMBROKE I - 06/06/1910 - 27/02/1911
HMS BLENHEIM - 28/02/1911 - 05/12/1913, derated to Able Seaman on 21/03/1911 as he spent 8 days in cells. Richard was also given 42 days detention due to a "break out near a steam furnace". He was also listed on the 1911 census, aged twenty five, aboard the torpedo boat destroyer Scorpion while it was at number 3 buoy off Felixstowe/Harwich Harbour on the East coast of Britain.
HMS PEMBROKE I - 06/12/1913 - 07/01/1914
HMS VICTORY I - 18/02/1914 - 13/03/1914
HMS PEMBROKE I - 14/03/1914 - 30/03/1914
HMS VANGUARD - 31/03/1914 - 09/07/1917, serving aboard during the Battle of Jutland.
Richard was also sub-rated as a qualified Diver from 08/02/1911 - 30/06/1915
His Star, Victory and British war medals were issued to his mother following his death as was his pension.
His body never found, he is remembered in perpetuity on the Chatham Naval Memorial as well as locally on the Douglas War Memorial, Isle of Man.
(#171 - 452/843)
1891, 1901 & 1911 England Census
Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services; Class: ADM 188; Piece: 379
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War.; Class: ADM 242; Piece: 008 (1914 - 1919)
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/8; Scan Number: 1194
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers; Reference: 038/0230/JON-JON
Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 107
Memorial photos courtesy of Shaun Underwood