Chris Richardson speaks about his grandfather who fought in both WW1 and WW2:
‘This is a classic of Joe, aged 17– they must have made the photo into a postcard (a big new thing in 1911). This was three years before the war, and he was training in Lydd, Kent which was the main military training camp for testing explosives (built in 1888) – there was no thought of a War in 1911 – so Joe had quite a life that we didn’t know about. Joe marked himself with an ‘X’ but the postcard was never posted so he kept it through both wars (he fought in both) and gave it to us just before he died aged 71 (March 7th 1894 to December 9th 1965).’
Looking at Joe’s WW1 record (damaged and partially burned by a bomb in WW2) – I note he was in the MEF. The Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF) was part of the British Army during World War 1 that commanded all Allied forces at Gallipoli and Salonika. Once Salonika became the sole Mediterranean theatre the MEF was commanded by General Archibald Murray who was based in Egypt and whose command also involved defence of the Suez Canal from Turkish attacks. As the importance of the Sinai front grew, a separate headquarters called the Egyptian Expeditionary Force was formed (in March 1916). This is the place where Joe told us he had killed several Turks in the fighting to stop the Turks overrunning the vital Suez Canal. Below is a picture of the Turkish troops as they dug in for the attempt to take the canal.
And as the Turkish Forces prepared to attack Suez.’
‘The battle for Suez’
‘Joe was a Sergeant, commanding a field gun similar to this – with a team of 6 men per gun’
Courtesy of Chris Richardson Child (Grandson)