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Gunner Richardson is Buried at Gallipoli

by 2/469 S.sgt Robert James Wait, New Zealand Artillery, 1NZEF

6 June 1915

2/631 Gunner Herbert Basil Richardson, of Dannevirke, died at Gallipoli on Monday 7 June 1915 while serving with the New Zealand Field Artillery. This is part of a letter written by Staff Sergeant Robert James Wait, while serving with the New Zealand Artillery at Gallipoli in 1915 (and records the date of death as 6 June 1915). It is reproduced with permission of the Wait family. All text is copyright © RS Wait.

While helping Moonie to dig his dug-out Gunner Richardson was unfortunate enough to stop a bullet in the side, he died within half an hour, just as the doctor arrived. He was a fine fellow. Not a drop of blood came from the wound.

We got used to this now and apart from being sorry that another of our mates has had to leave us, these scenes affect us but little. His wound is bound, his disc taken off, his uniform placed over him after all his papers etc have been taken out, he is then wrapped up in his blanket and pinned in. He lies just a little way off the main track along the cliff for all to see.

The Minister arrives, we were fortunate in being able to get one on this occasion, we desert the guns for a few minutes and crawl along toward the shallow grave dug earlier in the day by volunteers, to pay our respects to the dead. We have to lie or sit under cover so that the enemy may not 'spot' us and let fly.

We gather around the grave, his own puttees are used to lower him into his last resting place. The chaplain speaks, all's over.

We get back to the guns in twos and threes with a fixed determination to be more accurate with each shell and to make sure the full effect may be felt.

RJ Wait, June 1915

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