Richard was the son of John and Susan Jane (Carveth), and baptised at St. Ives Parish Church on 18th January 1886. On 26th December 1906 Richard married Clara Dodson at St. Ives Parish Church. The couple had three children: Charles John born 26th May 1907, Edith Maud Grace born 22nd August 1909 and Joe born 15th July 1911. Before the war Richard worked as a Labourer, and the family lived in East Street, St. Ives and later in Needingworth.
Richard was born in St Ives and is on the St Ives Cross of Sacrifice. However he gave his address on enlistment as Needingworth. In 1901 he lived at The Eight Bells on the Waits and laboured for a coalman but in 1911 he was living at East St, St Ives with his wife Clara and children.
Richard joined the and in December 1914 enlisted in the Bedfordshire Regiment where he was allocated the number 23016. He was drafted to France with the 8th (Service) Battalion in August 1915. In October 1915 the 8th Beds were transferred to the 6th Division. On the 15th September the 8th Bedfords took part in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette on the Somme. By the end of the day Richard was missing. He was later presumed to have been killed in action. Richard has no known grave and is commemorated on Pier 2 Face C of the Thievpal Memorial in France.
He is also commemorated on St Ives A Parish Church Altar of Remembrance as Private Richard J. Lister and on St. Ives War Memorial, Market Hill as Pte. Richard J. Lister. He is remembered at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme in France.
His parents had married in 1873 at Woolwich where John was a driver with the Royal Artillery. They had a son Stephen George at Woolwich, a daughter Susan Jane in Leith, Scotland and Richard and John back home in St Ives when John left the Army. No service record has been found for John but he was obviously posted around.
Stephen George followed his father into the army enlisting in the militia in 1898. He married Annie Chapman in Bluntisham December 1899 and they had two children, George William in Whitby in 1903 and Mary Jane in Bluntisham in 1913. He re-enlisted in 1915, was wounded in 1917 and was transferred to the Agricultural Company at Bedford. He lived with his wife at Wood End, Bluntisham working as a labourer and was the village lamplighter.
Richard‘s younger brother Joseph was also killed in the war serving with the Bedford Regt.
The Huntingdonshire Cyclists Battalion was used mostly for home defence duties and were based in Yorkshire for a lot of the time, watching the east coast. For this reason they were know by many as the 'forgotten regiment'.
Many local soldiers who served in the army in World War 1 had been in the Cyclists Battalion first.
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