Richard was born on the 23August 1987 at Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest.
In October 1988 he moved to Abergavenny which he considered his hometown. From September 1991 to July 1998 he attended Llanellen Primary School Church of Wales, after primary school he moved onto King Henry VIII Comprehensive School from September 1998 to July 2003.
Richards’s love of the outdoors was evident in his choice of further education going on to do a BTEC in Outdoor Pursuits in Usk College from September 2004 to June 2006 Richard worked at home on the family farm for one year when he then decided to join the Army.
He started his basic training in Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire on 21/10/2007. After completing his training, Richard was posted to 2 Platoon in A Company, 2 ROYAL WELSH, in April 2008 where he immediately became part of the team. His enthusiasm for soldiering was clear from the outset and he was quickly identified by his platoon staff as a bright, enthusiastic soldier capable of achieving a great deal. After acquitting himself well during a rigorous but rewarding period of public order training with A Company, Richard specialised as a Warrior Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle driver, and it was in this role that he exercised extensively in preparation for his challenging deployment on Op HERRICK. Whilst a confident and skilled Warrior driver, Richard was also fast developing into an excellent sniper and he showed clear leadership potential.
On 13th August 2009 Richard was severely injured by an IED on his way to a forward base. He was flown back to Sellyoak Hospital on 14th/15th August 2009, where he died at 2.15 pm from his injuries in the arms of those who loved him.
The average age of the British Soldier is nineteen.
At home he'd still be considered wet behind the ears and barely old enough to buy a round of drinks. Yet here he's old enough to die for his country. Like most boys their age our young soldiers arn't particularly keen on hard work, but they'd definitely prefer to be grafting than signing on the dole back in the UK.
The average squaddie left comprehensive school as a modest student, played some form of sport, drove a crap car, and in all probability had a girlfriend who broke up with him whilst out here. When he returns home he will be about a stone lighter than when he left- because he 's been fighting from dawn to dusk and beyond. He may have trouble spelling, so letter writing is a pain, but he can strip and reassemble his rifle in less than a minute, even in the dark. He can recite every detail of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either if he has to. He digs trenches and toilets without the aid of machines and can apply first aid like a proffesional paramedic. He can march until he is told to stop, or stand perfectly still until told to move. The British Soldier obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he's certainly not without a rebellious spirit or a sense of personal dignity. He's proudly self-sufficient. He always has two sets of uniform with him; one he washes and the one he wears. He keeps his water bottle full and his feet dry. Sometimes he forgets to brush his teeth but never forgets to clean his rifle. He cooks his own meals, mends his own clothes and fixes his own hurts. If you are thirsty he will share his water with you., if you are hungry, his food, he will even share his life saving ammunition in the heat of a fire-fight if you run low.
He has learnt to use his hands like a weapon, and regards his weapon as an extension of his hands. He can save your life or take it, because that's his job- its what a soldier does. He often works twice as long and hard as a civilian, for half the pay, and has nowhere much to spend it.
He's seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime, and has wept privately and in public for his friends who have fallen in combat. While standing rigidly to attention, he feels every chord of the National Anthem vibrate through his body. He'd kick off with anyone who showed disrespect to his regiment or his country, while vigorously defending their rights to be an individual. He 's prepared to risk his life daily to protect ours and asks nothing in return , except our respect, friendship, and understanding. We may not like what he does, but some times he does'nt either, he does it because he has to
List of Fallen Welsh Warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan:
L.Cpl Paul Thomas, 29yrs, 2nd Battalion The Light Infantry, 17/8/2004 from Welshpool.
Fusilier Stephen Jones, 22yrs, The Royal Welch Fusiliers, 10/9/2004, from Denbigh.
Col.Sgt. Mark Lawrence Powell,37yrs, The Parachute Regiment, 15/4/2007 from S.Wales.
Cpl Paul Joszko, 28yrs, 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, 28/6/2007, from Mountain Ash.
L.Cpl Ryan Francis, 23yrs, 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, 7/7/2007, from Llanelli.
Pte Craig Barber, 20yrs, 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, 6/8/2007. From Ogmore Vale.
L.Cpl Jonathon Peter Hetherington, 22yrs,14 Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare), 27/8/2006, S.Wales.
W.O.Class 2. Michael Norman Williams, 40yrs, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, 24/6/2008, Cardiff.
L.Cpl Christopher Harkett, 22yrs, 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, 14/3/2009, from Swansea
L.Cpl Robert Martin Richards, 24yrs, Armoured Support Group Royal Marines, 24yrs, Betws-y-coed
L.Cpl David Dennis, 29yrs, The Light Dragoons, 4/7/2009, Llanelli.
L.Cpl Dane Elson, 22yrs, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, 5/7/2009, Bridgend.
Pte Kyle Adams, 21yrs, The Parachute Regiment, 6/8/2009,S.Wales.
Pte Richard Thomas Hunt, 21yrs, 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, 15/8/2009, Abergavenny.
Pte James Prosser, 21yrs, 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, 27/9/2009, Cwmbran.
Cpl Nicholas Webster-Smith, 24yrs, Royal Military Police, 3/11/2009, Glangwili.
Fusilier Jonathon Burgess, 20yrs, 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, 7/4/2010, Swansea.
L.Cpl Alan Cochran, 23yrs, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire), 2/6/2010, St.Asaph.
LCpl Michael Taylor, 30yrs, Charlie Company 40 Commando Royal Marines, 21/6/2010, Rhyl.
Cpl Jamie Kirkpatrick, 32yrs, 101 Engineer Regiment(Explosive Ordenance Disposal) 27/6/2010, Llanelli.
Bdr Samuel Joseph Robinson, 31yrs, 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, 8/7/2010, Carmarthen
Sgt. Andrew James Jones, 35yrs, Royal Engineers, 18/9/2010, Newport.
Snr. Aircraftsman Scott Hughes, 20yrs, 1 Sqdn Royal Airforce Regiment, 7/11/2010, N.Wales.
L.Sgt Tobie Fasfous, 29yrs, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, 28/4/2009
Lt Mark Evison,26yrs, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, 12/5/2009
Major Sean Birchall, 33yrs, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, 19/6/2009
Lt.Col Rupert Thornloe, 39yrs, C.O. 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, 1/7/2009
Pte John Brackpool,27yrs, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, 9/7/2009
Gdsman Christopher King, 20yrs, Coldstream Guards (attached to the Welsh Guards), 22/7/2009