Arthur H. L. Richardson (1872-1932)
Arthur H.L. Richardson was born 23 September 1872 in Southport, England. After apprenticing for a dental surgeon, he became restless and sought more adventure. He immigrated to Canada at roughly age 19 and for the first couple years he lived in Stoney Mountain, Manitoba after which he moved to Regina Saskatchewan.
On 7 May 1894, he was accepted into the North West Mounted Police and after his training was posted to Battleford, at the junction of the Battle and Saskatchewan Rivers. Here he settled as a law enforcement officer until the outbreak of the war in South Africa.
At the call for troops for service in South Africa, on 14 February 1900 he applied for and was accepted into the newly formed Regiment “Strathcona’s Horse”. His beginning with the Regiment started badly. During what was supposed to be the first action for the unit, he fell down the hold of his ship during rough seas and broke his leg.
While he was convalescing in Cape Town, a group of fifty reinforcement soldiers arrived, ready to join the unit at the front. On 5 July near Wolve Spruit, he was in charge of leading the small group to join the regiment and while on the march, they came into contact with a number of approximately 80 Boers. After a small number of the group gave chase they quickly realized they were out numbered. With that the retreat was given and during this time, Corporal McArthur was wounded in two places and fell from his horse. Sergeant Richardson, realizing what had happened, rode back under heavy crossfire and rescued the Corporal. For his act of bravery he was awarded the highest honour, the Victoria Cross.
He returned to Canada in 1901 and rejoined the North West Mounted Police at Battleford Saskatchewan, where he remained until 1906.
Shortly after his release from the North West Mounted Police his wife passed away and in 1916 he decided to move back to England to the Liverpool area.
Living in virtual obscurity, it was on 7 April, 1924 the local newspaper, the Liverpool Echo, had contacted the V.C. winner, Sergeant Arthur Herbert Lindsay Richardson who had recently read about the death of his imposter. For nine years another man had been accorded all the accolades of a V.C. winner, deserved to Sgt. Richardson. He felt it was time to speak out as there had been rumors he had died in Canada. It was at this point, he was reunited with his mother and brother for the first time in over twenty years.
On the 26th June 1920 King George V invited him to attend an Afternoon Party at Buckingham Palace where he, and other V.C. recipients were honored.
Sergeant Richardson worked as a track layer for the local tramway from the time of his return to England until his death on 15 February 1932 at age 59.
Source: © Lee J. Ramsden