*** RESERVED *** The exceptional North Russian Dvina Operations’ D.S.C. and scarce Archangel Command Albert Medal for Sea & Order of St. Stanislaus group of six awarded to Lieutenant E. H. Richardson, Royal Naval Reserve, who helped extricate trapped and wounded seamen from a burning munitions ship in the Port of Archangel, 8 November 1916, despite small arms ammunition exploding all around him; he was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his courage and enterprise as commanding officer of the Advokat during the Dvina Operations in North Russia in 1918 Albert Medal At Sea in bronze with reverse 'Presented by His Majesty to Lieutenant Edward Henry Richardson, R.N.R. for gallantry in saving life from burning "S.S. Earl of Forfar" after the explosion at Bakaritsa on the 8th November 1916' in box of issue; Distinguished Service Cross George V with reverse silver hallmarked; WWI War Medal to Lieut. E.H. Richardson, R.N.R.; WWI Victory Medal with M.I.D. Oak Leaf to Lieut. E.H. Richardson, R.N.R.; Order of St. Stanislaus, 3rd Class breast badge, with Swords, 39mm, gold (56 zolotniki) and enamel, with gold marks and maker’s mark to reverse.
D.S.C. Gazetted 12 Dec 1918:
"He showed courage and enterprise of a high order as commanding officer of the Gunboat Advokat during the Dvina operations."
Albert Medal Gazetted 9 July 1918, joint citation with Captain G. P. Bevan, C.M.G., D.S.O.; 2nd Engineer C. Watson; and Able Seamen J. D. Henry and M. Thompson:
"On the 8th November, 1916, a series of fires and explosions occurred at Bakaritsa, Port of Archangel, on merchant ships and on the wharves. The S.S. Baron Driesen had blown up at 1 p.m. and part of the S.S. Earl of Forfar forty minutes later. The latter ship, with a cargo of explosives, was on fire, and might have blown up at any moment, and explosions were continually taking place in the immediate vicinity. The ship was alongside the main fire on shore, and burning embers were constantly showered over her. She had a cargo of explosives on board and was abreast of the main conflagration. The flames were blown towards her by the wind, and the remaining portion of the ship was expected to be blown up at any moment. Captain Bevan, however, on hearing the cries proceeded on board, accompanied by Lieutenant-Commander MacMahon, and, hearing moans from under the smouldering debris of the forecastle, cleared away the wreckage and extricated the mate, who had an arm and a leg and his collarbone broken, and passed him into a tug. Lieutenant Richardson, 2nd Engineer Watson, and Able Seamen Henry and Thompson, of the Tug Sunderland, volunteered to board the Earl of Forfar and affected the rescue of a considerable number of wounded and helpless men who would otherwise have perished. They displayed the utmost gallantry and disregard of their own personal safety in saving the lives of others."
M.I.D. Gazetted 8 July 1920:
"For good services during Naval Operations in North Russia, 1918."
Edward Henry Richardson was born at South Shields, Co. Durham, on 5 March 1885, and was indentured as an apprentice for four years to the Stag Line Limited on 8 September 1900 to learn seamanship. He received his certificate as Master for foreign-going steamships on 25 May 1912, and served during the Great War in the Royal Naval Reserve. Posted to the Province of Archangel, it was whilst unloading munitions destined for the Russian front that, ‘disaster struck on 8 Nov 1916 at Bakarista, Port of Archangel, North Russia when the merchant ship S.S. Baron Driesen blew up at 1300 hrs Desperate attempts were made to move other ships away but at 1420 hrs the after part of S.S. Earl of Forfar also exploded. Before that ship’s master, Captain James Campbell Hurry, tried to return to his vessel but, being unable to do so, helped other vessels in danger of being burned. While doing so he heard voices coming from his own ship which was burning and exploding furiously so he led volunteers aboard and saved several men, having to lift live shells as he went. Ten minutes later the deck blew up. The ship was a mass of flame and burning embers from fires blazing ashore were being showered on her. A one-hundred-ton floating crane was moored between the quay and the ship and, after dark, cries were heard coming from the crane. To reach it, it was necessary to cross the ship which had a cargo of explosives aboard but, as Captain George Parker Bevan and Lieutenant-Commander Maurice McMahon were doing so they heard moans coming from under the smouldering debris of the forecastle. Helped by the crew of the tug Sunderland Lieutenant Edward Henry Richardson, Second Engineer Christopher Watson and Able Seamen James Dixon Henry and Malcolm Thompson, all of whom had volunteered, they set about extricating the casualty. Ignoring the intermittent explosions from small arms ammunition they cleared away the wreckage and freed the mate of the Earl of Forfar - his arm, leg and collar bone broken - and passed him to the tug. Lieutenant-Commander McMahon then crossed to the crane on a single plank and finding the ship’s carpenter under the crane together with two Russian members of its crew rescued them all. Promoted Lieutenant-Commander, Richardson was appointed commanding officer of the Russian Gunboat Advokat in 1918, one of three paddle-steamers each armed with a 12-pounder and a pom-pom that formed the bulk of the Anglo-Russian Naval Brigade in North Russia, under the command of Commander P. H. Edwards. He participated in operations up river on the Dvina, including engagements at Bereznik, Troitsa, Borka and Chamovo, and took part in defensive skirmishes when Bolshevik gunboats sometimes ventured down river, but was later hit by shore batteries. However, with the advent of winter, and the arrival of ice, the flotilla was withdrawn in November 1918, and for his services Richardson was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and also awarded the Russian Order of St. Stanislas 2nd Class, with Swords. Richardson was presented with his Albert Medal, together with his Distinguished Service Cross, by H.M. King George V at Buckingham Palace on 17 May 1919. He subsequently served as a transport officer 3rd grade in H.M.S. President.

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