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LATE MAJOR J. M . RICHMOND.

A FINE APPRECIATION. . Few people in New Zealand will rea^ lise that in Major J. M. Richmond, D.5.0., M.C., R.N.Z.A,, .who, was killed : by a, 5.9 shell on the highrcad midway between Sblesmes and Le Quesnoy on the afternoon of Sunday, October 27, : 1918, New Zealand lost one of her most ] promising .staff officers. *„.,.,- A , „^v " .Leaving New Zealand 'wjth* the Main < Body in October, 1914, he served with the New Zealand Force without a. break until the day of his death; first as Ad- . jutant of the Field Artillery Brigade, i and later, when the force expanded into a .division, as Brigade-Major of the Divisional Artillery, which appointment he held until August 14, 1918, when he relinquished it at his own request to command a battery. He landed in the first beat conveying New Zealand troops to the shore at Gallipoli and remained at Anzac till the final day of evacuation, wben he embarked in the last boat, having volunteered "to assist in the b'owmg up of an ,old 5-inch howitzer, which was kept in , action till the last moment. , He accompanied the Division to France, and served in all. the engage-,-ments in which the New Zealand Artil- ( lery took part. The infantry spends only a portion of its time in the lino, whereas the artillery seldom leaves it. This necessitates a great deal of fighting in conjunction with, other divisions, 1 and all senior and staff artillery officers with whom the New Zealand Artillery worked were loud in their praise of the Wei'k^and abilities o£ Major Richmond His orders were models of what orders should be ; lucid and concise, they were never misunderstood, and his instructions were so well written taht neighboring divisions often « opied them. r v -lii 30 years' experience I have' never knciwn an officer who could so quickly ■ grasp a complicated tactical situation ] and" make it appear simple in orders. In . ) addition, he combined with this quick- • ness extreme thoroughness ; it was most unusual to find, .^the. slightest mistake . .... even in detail Jn^ jmy ;of nisi work. .'> Ete also had a capacity for mental endurance and could continue working for 24 hours at a stretch during operations, only giving in when the critical stages of a battle were over, when* it was his habit ta sleep for some 12 to 16 hours at a stretch. , ■ ■■

He had great tact in dealing with commanding officers ctf attached units; it is probably well known that in modem battles the Divisional Artillery is insufficient and that generally in all battles in which the New Zealand; Division took part three or more additional brigades of artillery reinforced it. Without exception the attached brigade commanders assured the C.R.A., New Zealand Division, tbatrth'eyjif.d never-been attached tfc a division witere the orders were so clear and where so much help had been given by the brigade major; in iact, it is not toa much to. say that Major Richmond established a reputation among senior officers o* the Home Artillery as a staff officer of- exceptional attainments. His eye for. .oauntrjr ; <waa excellent; he could walk, over '{v.^w; bit of country, go back to headquarters,: and draw a very accurate.; panpiJMnic sketch of it from memory; - < ;y .<'* -•■* -^ "'.~Q -He made a most charming . co'm^anipn, in mess, was exceptionally^well ,re&d; with a good memory, and to music; it was often 'hi<i ;fcabitj'i' vx' Armentieres, where headquar^rs^^e^g billeted in houses, to come ' into a room adjoining the office during a raadan,d relieve the strain by playing^ the piano. During a. battle or raid it is necessary for the divisional staff to- .remain at headquarers and direct ope? ations, and the strain awaiting developments is severe.

, On ordinary days he visited the batteries, brigades, and observation stations, and never shrank from carrying out his duty, no> matter how dangerous. He hated bloodshed, and the . writer well remembers his horror at seeing •blood during the first day of landing at Gallipoli. When innoculated, he always fainted, and yet there were few braver men in the division. On one of the last occasions on which the writer saw him he was trying to stop the flow, of blood from a horse which had just been wounded near Havrinconrt Wood.

■ ( Altogether he was a must interestiag personality, and his death was a severe loss to the division as well as a great grief to his brother officers, . more particularly to his CjG>:G, With whom he l^ad been in ' closest association during th© war. He was the last of four R.N.Z.A. officers who joined the regiment towards the ' end of 1210— Davies, Daniell, Turner, Richmond— all of whom have been killed in France. On the day of his death he had taken aver command of a brigade of field artillery, and it was at the entrance to his new headquarters, a ruined pottage next to his batteries, that he was kitted. Copies cf . all orders rjid. instructions issued by the New Zealand Divisional Artillery have been kept for record. Shauld some future New Zealand artillery officer wish to get a thorough knowledge of modern war in. so far as it affects artillery, and to learn how, to write orders, he could nc>t do' better than jto.take as his model those written .by Major J. M. Richmond. R.N.Z.A. " (Signed) G. J. JOHNSTON, , . .Brigadier-General, C.RVA., N.Z. Divismn. October 29, 1918.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/PBH19190214.2.42

Bibliographic details

LATE MAJOR J. M. RICHMOND., Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLVI, Issue 14837, 14 February 1919

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894

LATE MAJOR J. M. RICHMOND. Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLVI, Issue 14837, 14 February 1919

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