Dickie Richards was larger than life. He was described as 'a cyclone in human shape'. Dickie had served first in the London Regiment and then in the AOD and, at least at one period, had commanded an ammunition train. There is an intriguing piece of evidence suggesting that Dicky had travelled much further afield, for he was awarded a Japanese medal. Japan had joined with the Entente in 1914, and soon took possession of the then former German colonies in the eastern seas. Dicky was awarded an MC.
He was on the First Ordnance Officers Course and, in the interwar years, his postings included York and Egypt, the latter as an adviser.
In 1939, he set up a massive general stores depot in Le Havre, returning to the UK after Dunkirk albeit briefly, before being sent out to join General Wavell in Egypt where he ran Ordnance Services until 1943. This was a massive task as Ordnance learnt how to supply a mobile army, with repeated advances and retreats.
He returned to the War Office as Director of Clothing and Stores bringing with him a wealth of experience of supplying a mechanised army. Of his depots, the largest for clothing was COD Branston and for general stores, COD Didcot.
In 1946, he succeeded Bill as Controller of Ordnance Services.
I tell much more of Dickie Richards and his fellow RAOC officers in Dunkirk to D Day
I write about the textile industry and its contribution to the war effort in How Britain Shaped the Manufacturing World.