Corporal Robert M D Richardson

Robert Mason Don Richardson enlisted into The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders on the 15 September 1939. [1]

He volunteered for Airborne Forces in the Summer of 1943 and was on Parachute Course No 76 at RAF Ringway, 2 – 13 August 1943. His Parachute Instructors comments: “Steady, Hardworking type. Asset in any stick. Good.” [2]

Upon completion he was initially posted to the Holding Wing, Depot & School, Airborne Forces at Hardwick Hall, but was then sent, as a reinforcement, to the 5th (Scottish) Parachute Battalion, which was by then located in Southern Italy, near Taranto.

He took part in the Italian Campaign, until his unit, along with the rest of the 2nd (Independent) Parachute Brigade was withdrawn to take part in Operation ‘Dragoon’.

This was the parachute drop into Southern France, which took place on the 15th August 1944. By now a Corporal serving in 15 Platoon, D-Company, Robert Richardson was amongst approximately 120 men – almost all of them D-Company – that were dropped over 10 miles North-East of their intended Drop Zone in very rugged and mountainous terrain. He and the other men eventually linked up with the rest of the Brigade, and after another week in action were returned to Italy.

He then took part in Operation ‘Manna’, which was the parachute drop in Greece in October 1944. He was wounded in the Civil War fighting that then took place on the 10 December 1944, but remained at duty.

Sometime after this he returned to the United Kingdom to take up the position of as an Instructor at a Divisional Battle School at Burley in Hampshire.

It was whilst he was serving there that he was involved in an altercation outside the Village Hall at Burley in the New Forest, and died of head injuries on the 3 November 1945.


One of the airborne men who fought and was captured at Arnhem, Sergt. Michael Ryan (29), was charged before the Ringwood (Hampshire) Magistrates yesterday with the manslaughter of Corporal Richard MD Richardson (27), of Stirling, who was attached to the same airborne division battle school at Burley.

Richardson died from head injuries after falling and striking steps outside Burley Village Hall, New Forest.

The Magistrate dismissed the case, the chairman, Mr WT Always, saying they were satisfied there was no evidence on which a jury would convict.

Sergt. Ryan, in a statement, said that Richardson approached in a fighting attitude outside the hall during a dance and he (Ryan) shoved him off with his fist. Richardson afterwards apologised for causing trouble and shook hands. [3]

The son of Robert and Elizabeth Stewart Richardson, of Stirling, Corporal Robert Richardson is buried in Stirling (Ballengeich) Cemetery, Section T, Grave 131.


[1] The Parachute Regiment Transfer & Enlistment Book 09, page 92.

[2] Parachute Course Report. RAF Ringway. August 1943.

[3] Evening Telegraph and Post. 15 November 1945.

Created with information kindly supplied by R Hilton

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