Brigadier L. F Richards CBE

{ Dicky }

  • MBE medal
  • OBE medal
  • CBE medal

Brigadier L.F. (Dicky) Richards was born in London in 1915, educated as an Alleyn scholar at the CFS and then joined a firm of importers and exporters operating mainly in India. In 1935, after three years at their London office, he sailed for India.

Shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the Indian Army and was commissoned into the 2nd Royal Bn, 11th Sikh Regiment Ahmednagar in March 1941. He raised a mixed Indian and British Provost Unit for HQ 10th Indian Division which was then being formed by the new GOC, Maj. Gen. W.J. Slim.

In May 1941, 10 Div embarked for operations in Iraq followed by a short campaign against the Vichy French in Syria and then involvement in the Persian uprising in Teheran. By Christmas 1941, Captain Richards and his Provost Unit were back in Iraq where he was invited by the GOC to volunteer to join 50th Indian Parachute Brigade then being formed in Delhi.

In February 1942 he was appointed Intelligence Officer and MTO of 152 Indian Parachute Battalion and served for six years with Indian Airborne including taking part in the operation against fanatical Hur Tribesmen in Hyderabad in 1942, the Battle for Sangshak and the opening of the Imphal-Kohima road in 1944.

He returned to Provost duties towards the end of this tour and was much involved in riot control and peace-keeping in Quetta and Karachi, during the horrific bloodshed that followed Indian Independence in August 1947. Both he and his wife worked tirelessly for both Muslim and Hindu sects, displaying very high standards of leadership, impartiality, compassion and discipline.

Brig. Richards returned to England in 1948 to join the Essex Regiment. His vast experience at specialist Provost duties marked him out as an obvious choice to transfer to the newly forming Corps of Royal Military Police which he did at the instigation of the then GIGS, General Sir William Slim, his old boss. During nearly twenty years with RMP Brig. Richards displayed outstanding qualities in the areas of operations, discipline and welfare and was rewarded by appointments to the Order of the British Empire, first as Member, then as Officer and finally as Commander.

On his retirement he was able to devote his time to his first love: the countryside. A countryman at heart he excelled in all pursuits - fishing, shooting and riding. He was unstinting in his help and encouragement to others by organising saddle clubs and show jumping activities, at times together with sailing club ventures for the Services.

Brig. Richards worked tirelessly in his support of the Indian Parachute Brigades Association. In particular he did much to publicise the true facts of the battle of Sangshak by contributing to books and writing articles on the subject. He was instrumental in presenting a case for Sangshak to be designated a Battle Honour for the Parachute units concerned.

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Service History

  • 1941
    2nd Royal Bn, 11th Sikh Regiment Ahmednagar (Not known)
  • 1941
    Commanding Officer (CO) Provost Unit, HQ 10th Indian Division
  • 1942
    Intelligence Officer 152 (Indian) Parachute Battalion
  • 1948
    Essex Regiment (Not known)
  • 1948
    Corps of Royal Military Police (Brigadier)


L. F Richards

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