China 1900 clasp Defence of Legations,
J.W. Richardson, Chinese Customs,
Wounded during the Defence by slug/shrapnel to the shoulder & neck area.
With various photos, Consular Service passports for he and his wife
Original Birth Certificate issued 11 April 1867 within the British Consulate at Swatow, China, father Tho. W. Richardson, Merchant at Swatow.
Marriage Certificate 1905 solemnized at His Majesty’s Legation, Pekin
Pewter tankard Shanghai Rowing Club Spring 1899 Eights ‘German Co. A Co. S.V.C. ‘(Shanghai Volunteer Corps) ‘Won by “A” Company. …..4. J.W. Richardson’ Base has Chinese symbols and ‘Gee Wah Pewtersmith Swatow’
A silver plaque ”Presented to Mr. & Mrs. J.W. Richardon by the Foreign membersof the Kiacchow Customs Staff. October 1924.’
Licence to wear the 2nd class award of the Excellent Crop as Commissioner of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service, 24 April, 1922
Richardson one of the thirteen men of the Chinese Maritime Customs Volunteers, who volunteered, for service in the Defence under the command Mr. E. von Strauch, having served as first lieutenant in the German army for some years but then employed by the British Consulate.
Commissioner John Walter Richardson (1867-1951) was born on 6 April 1867 at Swatow, China (modern day Shantou), the son of Thomas William Richardson, a Scottish merchant at Swatow, originally, from Edinburgh, studied at Oxford University and joined the Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs Service, on 1 September 1888 at Tientsin .
Clearly from his tankard previously served with the Shanghai Volunteer Corps, an international militia organised under the Shanghai Municipal Council to protect foreign interests in the city. The volunteers came from foreigners (British, American, French, German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian, Portuguese, Japanese and others from all over the world) living in Shanghai, some of whom were paid regulars while others were unpaid part-time soldiers. Some soldiers were formed into national companies, others into mixed units.
Richardson was present during the Boxer Uprising which broke out in the spring and early summer of 1900, and he took a direct part in the historic defence of the Foreign Legations at Peking, where he is confirmed as one of the ‘Customs Volunteers’ The British Legation had become severely overcrowded with families and refugees, ‘The Customs mess’ particularly so. Members of the Customs volunteers, were assigned to duty in various parts of the defences, though mostly attached to the Japanese contingent at the Su Wang Fu Palace to the east of the British Legation and scene of some of the hottest fighting. From ‘Pekin 1900, The Boxer Rebellion’ gives instance “The Su Wang Fu was the scene of the hottest firing, and once it was thought it would have to be given up. At the same time (as a mine under the French Legation wall) a body of Chinese, numbering about two hundred, charged down the wall street and got past the German legation without being stopped. When they got to the bridge, one of the United States marines was just coming down from the wall and saw them as they were coming up over the bridge. He gave the alarm to four men stationed in the barricade on the street, who fired about a dozen volleys on them, killing thirty of them. The natives then turned and fled; on the way back the Germans fired on them, driving them into the club tennis courts, where they killed eighteen more. The officer in command of the Chinese was shot by E. von Strauch, captain of the customs volunteers
Von Strauch, had formerly been an officer in the Prussian Army, and who ‘was of the greatest assistance’ to Sir Claude MacDonald, the senior British military figure of the siege. Richardson was one of 57 medal recipients from the staff of the British Legation, of which 13 were issued to volunteers from the Chinese Customs Service. Defending their besieged sector from Boxer attacks and arson attacks for 55 days, with scant ammunition and food supplies, the 409 international troops and volunteers successfully withstood these repeated attacks until relieved by a larger international force on 14 August 1900.
Richardson received a bullet or small piece of shrapnel to the neck/shoulder during the subsequent siege and defence. He was noted as “Mr. J. W. Richardson was the first of the customs volunteers to be disabled, having received, early in the siege, a flesh-wound of the shoulder. He, too, made a rapid recovery, and was soon acting as assistant steward in the hospital, but when entirely in health returned again to guard duty.”
Richardson received promotions to Deputy Commissioner on 1 April 1912, and to Commissioner on 1 November 1913. After a period of leave, most likely relating to the birth of his daughter Edith on 1 March 1914 at Peking, he served as Commissioner at Antung for three years, returning once again to Peking as Chief Secretary for 20 months (in charge of the Customs Inspectorate) . He served as Commissioner at Kiaochaw before being invalided on 31 January 1925 – apparently from the effects of the bullet wound that he had received during the Boxer Rebellion. Returning to England in later life, he died on 29 September 1951 at Becton House, Barton- on-Sea, Hampshire.
A beautiful black toned medal in unworn condition