Kenneth Hughes (Ken) RICHARDS

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RICHARDS, Kenneth Hughes

Service Number: 2245
Enlisted: 25 March 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 50th Infantry Battalion
Born: Kent Town, Adelaide, South Australia, 1898
Home Town: Kent Town, Norwood Payneham St Peters, South Australia
Schooling: Mitcham Public School
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in action, France, 25 April 1918
Cemetery: Adelaide Cemetery Villers-Bretonneux
Memorials: Adelaide M04d The 50th Battalion Commemorative Cross, Adelaide National War Memorial (South Australia)
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World War 1 Service

25 Mar 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, SN 2245, Adelaide, South Australia
12 Aug 1916: Involvement Private, SN 2245, 50th Infantry Battalion
12 Aug 1916: Embarked Private, SN 2245, 50th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ballarat, Adelaide

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Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Kenneth Hughes RICHARDS parents were Thomas Oliver RICHARDS and Susan HARPER

His brother Gilbert Harper RICHARDS also served in WW1 (SN 2) and was Killed in Action on 24th June, 1918

Biography contributed by Le Fevre High School

Kenneth Hughes Richards was born in Kent Town, South Australia in the year of 1898. He lived on Angus Road, Cottonville. His family consisted of Susan Richards (Mother), Thomas Oliver Richards (Father), Gilbert Harper Richards (Brother), Percival William Richards (Brother), Alice Louise Richards (Sister) and Edgar Wrexham Hughes Richards (Brother). Kenneth attended Mitcham Public School and grew up with the religion of the Church of England. Later, he attended Murden Training College and is said to have been a labourer. His father worked in the Government Printing Office of South Australia on King William Road and some in his family believe that he could have worked with his father before enlisting.

Kenneth enlisted for service abroad in Adelaide at the age of 18 on the 25th March, 1916. His service number was 2245 in the 50th Australian Infantry Battalion, his first rank was Signaller. He became known as ‘Ken’ by some of the other soldiers. The battalion began training in Egypt on the 26th of February. They were involved in the doubling of the AIF. After completing their training in Egypt, the troops moved to France on the 11th of June, 1916. While there, they fought in the battle at Mouquet Farm between the dates of the 13-15th of August. Early in the year of 1917, they participated in the advance that caused Germany to retreat to the Hindenburg Line. They then attacked in Noreuil on the 2nd of April. When the focus of the AIF shifted to Belgium, the battalion shifted with it and participated in the Battle of Messines between the dates of 7-12th of June, and later the Polygon Wood battle on the 26th September.

The Germans then advanced in their largest attack against the Australian Army on the Western Front in late March of 1918. The 50th Battalion participated in the repulse and on the 25th of April, and were in the attack in Villers-Bretonneux. This is the date and place that Kenneth Hughes Richards was tragically killed in action during and advance led by Lt. Claridge. He died at the young age of 20 with the final rank of Private.

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