Chilliwack Museum and Archives is hosting a special commemorative event Oct. 8 to mark 100 years since Piper Richardson the local VC hero fell in the Battle of Somme during the First World War

Chilliwack Museum and Archives is hosting a special commemorative event Oct. 8 to mark 100 years since Piper Richardson the local VC hero fell in the Battle of Somme during the First World War

Chilliwack to commemorate Piper Richardson centennial

Chilliwack Museum and Archives is hosting a special commemorative event October 8 to honour Piper James Cleland Richardson VC

The sorrowful sound of Piper Richardson’s home set of bagpipes will be heard in Chilliwack next month.

Chilliwack Museum and Archives is hosting a special commemorative event on the afternoon of Oct. 8 to mark 100 years since the local hero fell in the Battle of Somme during the First World War, at the age of 20 years old.

“The important thing about this event is that the push really came from the community,” said Matthew Francis, executive director of the Chilliwack Museum and Archives.

He fielded several calls from passionate people who wanted to know what was being done to recognize the centennial milestone.

Chilliwack’s hero, James Cleland Richardson VC, died Oct. 8 on the blood-soaked battlefield in 1916, earning the only Victoria Cross ever awarded posthumously to a piper for “conspicuous bravery.”

Piper Richardson was praised in the official citation documents for obtaining permission to “play his company over the top” where they rushed the wire with “such fury and determination” that the position was captured.

His coolheadedness was considered nothing short of astonishing.

“The day of the event marks 100 years since Piper Richardson gave his life in service at Regina Trench,” said Francis.

The drone of the pipes, and the uplifting tunes, were not only to inspire downtrodden soldiers, but also an important way of communicating strategy on the battlefield.

Richardson’s family lived in Chilliwack when he went overseas, and some kin still do, while others will travel here for the event.

“His courage has inspired generations,” Francis said.

The young piper was known to play a home set of bagpipes here in Chilliwack on special occasions.

“His story will live on through our remembrance,” said Francis.

The bagpipes recovered from the battlefield are now stored in a place of honour in the B.C. legislature, after being repatriated from Scotland in 2006.

But the home set of pipes are the ones that will be played by Grant Laporte, a member of the Delta Police Pipe Band, at the commemoration event in Chilliwack next month. Laporte is the steward of the pipes.

Members of the Richardson Family, The Canadian Scottish Regiment, and other distinguished guests, such as Mayor Sharon Gaetz, Chilliwack MLA John Martin, are planning to be in attendance. Members of Royal Canadian Legion, #4 will form the colour party.

A Memorial Ceremony will be followed by a reception. Everyone is welcome. For more details call, (604) 795-5210, ext. 101.

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Madalyn Clempson, 18, of Chilliwack sings ‘Hiney Yamin Ba-im.’ She won the Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music award at the Performing Arts BC Virtual Provincial Festival. (YouTube)
Chilliwack youth bring home awards from provincial performing arts festival

Chilliwack’s 18-year-old Madalyn Clempson ‘a bit stunned’ to have won Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read