Family History



David Richardson was born at Peebleshire, Scotland, February 23, 1867 and raised at Mailingsland. He apprenticed in the hardware firm of W & R Moffat where he remained for 6 years. In 1886, David Richardson joined the Lanarkshire Police.  Richardson's service with the Lanarkshire police force culminated with his appointment as Police Inspector and Fire Chief for Rutherglen District.

 Family Tree:

  • Wife: Mary Prosser born at Peebleshire, January 2, 1866
  • Children:  James Cleland, Alice, David, Mary, Isabel, Janet, Robert, Alexa

Significant Facts & Events:

  • May 23, 1913 - David and 3 of his children sailed from Glasgow, Scotland to Canada, arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia, aboard the S.S. Parisian. They journeyed across Canada by train to Vancouver, BC.  In August 1913, David secured the Chilliwack Chief of Police position and moved to Chilliwack, BC.
  • October 13, 1913 - Mary arrived in Quebec on the S.S. Pretorian with her daughters Mary (age 20), Isabel (age 8), Janet (age 3) and son Robert (age 6). One child Alexa (age 10 in 1913) remained in Scotland for several years, but came to Canada in 1949, initially living in Chilliwack with her parents.
  • November 25, 1895 - James Cleland, the eldest son, who was born at Bellshill, Lanarkshire, and was an active Boy Scout.  James worked in a False Creek factory in Vancouver, where in 1914 he first distinguished himself by attempting to save the life of a boy who had fallen and drowned in the creek.
  • July 1, 1914 - James was an excellent piper and won 3 first place prizes in the bagpipe competition at the Scottish Sports Day event held in Victoria, BC. 
  • With the outbreak of war, James joined the "Seaforths" as part of that unit's first detachment and left for Valcartier, Quebec. Absorbed by the 16th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, James became one of 110 "originals" of the newly formed 16th Battalion. As a Piper with the 16th (Canadian) Scottish Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, James was awarded the Victoria Cross, the British Commonwealth's highest decoration for gallantry in the face of the enemy.
    • The award was made for rallying his company, October 8, 1916, at Regina Trench, on the Somme, France. After Richardson's company went "over the top" they were held up by concentrations of barbed wire and subjected to intense enemy fire. Richardson played his pipes while walking outside the wire, thereby inspiring his company to successfully rush and capture the position. Later, the same day, Richardson assisted a wounded comrade and was escorting enemy prisoners when he realized he had left his pipes behind. In attempting to retrieve the pipes he was lost in action. He was later buried at Adanac Military Cemetery, France. James was 20 years old.
  • April 1919 - David and Mary Richardson received their son's posthumous Victoria Cross from Lieutenant Governor Barnard in Victoria, British Columbia.
  • 1920 - David Richardson left the police force and became the janitor at Chilliwack High School. Known as 'Chief' he was a prominent mason, a supporter of the St. Andrew's and Caledonia Society; a member of Cooke's Presbyterian Church and a founding member of the Chilliwack Lawn Bowling Club. He died in February 1955.
  • Mary Richardson, who claimed she was just a housekeeper, was active in the Women's Missionary Society of Cooke's Presbyterian Church. Mary died in June 1956.
  • During their lifetime, James’ parents participated in two memorable events including the 1936 Vimy Pilgrimage when both David and Mary attended the unveiling of the Vimy War Memorial. In 1939 during the Royal Visit, both David and Mary were presented to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Chilliwack.