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Richardson, John Ernest

Lieutenant John Richardson, B.A. Student of English: he was preparing a Thesis, for the M.A. degree, on the Elizabethan poem, "Warner's Albion's England." Shortly before his death he wrote home for his copy of the old English epic "Beowulf." On the wall of his trench he had chalked the famous refrain, from the oldest English lyric "Deor's Lament," which in modern English may be rendered "O'er that he triumphed, O'er this may I."

Thine was no pedant's zeal: the Mother-tongue

Taught thee high dictates of the Fatherland;

The call that no patriot-heart can e'er withstand

Tore thee from lays by ancient poets sung.

Well didst thou learn the lore, to thee endear'd,

Of that young warrior who with dragons fought

And conquer'd, - steadfast, selfless, unafear'd, -

"Better is Death than Life with self-scorn fraught."

Not less thy courage, though thy scholar-soul

Illum'd thy trench with mystic runes, - the hope

That solac'd in his care our eldest Scop

Whose song is wrought on Britain's golden scroll.

No better mead would'st thou, no higher fame:

In Albion's England is enshrined thy name! King's College, Review, I.G.


First name(s)John Ernest
Family detailsSon of Mr and Mrs E. Richardson, of "Montfitchet," Leigham Vale Rd., West Southbourne, Bournemouth
CollegeKing's College London and/or King's College London Hospital
Dept / courseFaculty of Arts, English
Military unitLondon Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), 2nd Battn.
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
Date of death7 May 1915
Rank at deathLieutenant
Place of deathArmentieres
Cause of deathKilled in action
Burial placeFerme Buterne Military Cemetery, Houplines, Nord, France
Commemoration(s)King's College Chapel
NotesHome address - Forest Gate
SourcesKing's College London Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; University of London O.T.C.1914-19

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Richardson, John Ernest
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