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Richard Sudall was born on 21st September 1897 in Blackpool, Lancashire. His father was named George and his mother Helen. Richard was baptised alongside his older sister Helen Marcy Sudall (b. 20th December 1895) on 22nd June 1898 in the parish of South Shore, Blackpool. At this time they were living on Lytham Road and his father George was working as a grocer.

By the time of the 1911 Census the family were living at 86 Rochdale Road, Middleton, Lancashire. There was a third sibling, a sister named Gladys who was four years younger than Richard. His parents were both now listed as being ‘licensed victuallers’, or pub landlord/lady.  They had a boarder living with them a 30 year old man named Dennis Dotslinholme who was a photographer.

Richard enlisted in the Army Reserves on 30th May 1916 at Bury. He was mobilised into the Loyal North Lancashire on 17th October 1916 and was posted into the 2/5th Battalion with the service number 10280.

Before enlisting he had been working as a municipal clerk in the Town Hall in Middleton. He was single and still living at home in Middleton.

During his medical examination Private Sudall was described as being 5ft 3.75in tall and weighing 113lbs. He was 18 years old and was of fair physical development.

When the Territorial Force numbering system changed in January 1917 he was given the new style number 245167. He sailed to La Havre on 8th February 1917.

Between 18th August and 22nd September 1917 Richard was attached to 173rd Machine Gun Company. On 27th September 1917 he was attached to 176th Machine Gun Company.

On 12th April 1918 Richard was reported as being missing. He had joined up with 102nd Infantry Brigade as ordered but disappeared near METTE REN.

On 16th April 1918 Richard had joined OC Headquarters XV Corps. The previous report ‘missing’ was cancelled. News on 19th April from Captain G Bingham 2/7th K.L.R indicated that Richard had been in 20th General Hospital.

On 14th July 1918 he was granted 14 days leave to the UK. When he returned he was posted into the Command Paymasters section at Etaples. The following month he was compulsory transferred to the Army Pay Corps and was given the number 21494.

Between 5th to 19th April 1919, now working at Wimereux, Richard was permitted another period of leave to the UK. Then on 30th May 1919 he finally returned to the UK to work in Crystal Palace. He had served a total of 2 years 110 days abroad.

On 1st September 1919 Richard was promoted to Corporal.

He was demobilised to class Z reserve on 12th December 1919, his address upon discharge was still 86 Rochdale Road, Middleton, Lancashire. He was now 22 years old.

Richard applied for disability allowance due to a ‘weakness of eyes and chest’ as a result of being gassed on 11th April 1918. He stated that he was treated in a dressing station in France. A medical board sat in Kensington in November 1919 and concluded that his disabilities were not as a result of his military service and could find no record of him being admitted to any dressing station or casualty department – therefore his claim was rejected.

For his war service, Richard received the British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal.

Paul McCormick
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