Frank Northan Richards was born to Frederick Charles and his wife Harriett Amelia, known as Minnie, on November 5th, 1885. He was christened at St David's Church on November 22nd. The family were living at 15, Orchard Street, Llanfaes at this time, although prior to this, Frank's parents had lived at the Buck Inn, 57, Orchard Street, Llanfaes where Frank's grandmother, also Harriet (Davies), was the licensed victualler.
In 1891, the family lived at 3, St David Street, Brecon. His father came from Burry Port, Glamorganshire and his mother from Monmouthshire. His father's trade was watchmaker. Frank had an older brother Harry and older sister Rose, and some ten years after his birth his younger brother and sister were born. By 1901 the family had moved to 20, Orchard Street, Llanfaes, Brecon and grandmother Harriet Davies was living with them. Frederick was listed as a journeyman watchmaker.
In about 1904 Frank married Elizabeth Jones from Leominster and in 1911 he was working as a coal hewer, and the family with 3 young children were living in Duck Street, Neath. A fourth child arrived later.
He enlisted in Neath with the South Wales Borderers, although it is recorded he was an able seaman with the Navy before this. At the end of June 1915, the Battalion sailed from Avonmouth to Mudros and landed at Gallipoli in July 1915 where there was fierce fighting. He died in the August of that year and left his wife and four children.
A subsequent report from a colleague, Private W Crane, gave an insight into Frank's death. The two were manning a machine gun against advancing Turks when Frank fell, in his comrade's arms, shot in the head and killed outright. Private Crane carried on until relieved, although wounded himself. He also remained to witness Frank's burial.
Frank had two other brothers who served in France, Harry with the Headquarters staff and Osmond in the trenches.
(See also William Osmond Richards, brother, also included in this book²²)
For God and Country
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Private Frank Richards
South Wales Borderers 4th Battalion, service no. 12742