Frank Richards D.C.M., M.M. (1883-1961
Private Frank Richards 2nd Battn Royal Welch Fusiliers, 1901-1912 & 1914-1919, Signaller
Robert Graves, a published author before WW1, was also an officer with the 2nd Battn Royal Welch Fusiliers during WW1.
Frank began writing his remarkable story, “Old Soldiers Never Die” about 1930. Somewhere about 1933 Frank wrote to his old officer, Robert Graves, asking for advice about the book/story. Robert Graves was impressed with the work and with a little help to Frank the book was published by Faber and Faber.
It is arguably the greatest book ever written about life and reality in the front line during the First World War. This from a man who left school at the age of 12 who then worked in various jobs related to the mining industry until he joined the army in 1901.
Robert Graves comments that the second book “Old Soldier Sahib” is probably better than the first, as it describes the life of a British solider in the Indian sub-continent before WW1 at a time of the high point of the Raj.
Frank Richards, the story of a man who saw action in every major British engagement on the Western front, from the Christmas truce of 1914, the three battles of Ypres and at the armistice he wrote in his book movingly about the futility of war.
He remained in the ranks throughout the war despite being offered promotion on a number of occasions.
It is worthwhile noting that Frank’s books have never been out of print, both being in their eighth editions.
Orphaned at the age of 9, raised by his mother's brother's family, he married late in life, only having one child, a daughter, and lived his whole life in Monmouthshire in the area of Blaina.