Richard Underwood was born in Derby on 16 April 1914 and was known as Dick Underwood for most of his life.
Richard served in the (Prince of Wales’s Own) West Yorkshire Regiment during the Second World War with Service Number 4535854 in Karachi (India), and then in Singapore. Was a Company Quartermaster Sergeant at the time of his wedding to Doris Thomas in Singapore 18 May 1940.
Richard was captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942, kept in Changi prison for a while, and then worked on the Burma Railway for the remainder of the war. On his release in 1945 he was less than seven stones in weight when he returned to live with his wife in Colwyn Bay, North Wales.
After the war Richard became the Mace Bearer in Colwyn Bay until 1956, then Mace Bearer in Wolverhampton for about a year until 1957 before moving to Colchester in Essex where he was Mace Bearer and Town Sergeant until his death in 1965. He died from Hodgkins Disease (now known as Hodgkins Lymphoma) and died on 1st June 1965 in Derby Royal Infirmary within two weeks of being diagnosed.
Birth of Richar Underwood:
UK Register of Births – Derby, vol 7b, page 1203, 1914. Registration District: Derby. Underwood Richard. Father: Percival Harry Underwood, farm labourer of Stakerfields, Mickleover, Derbyshire. Mother: Lavinia Minnie Underwood, formerly Hart.
UK Birth Certificate: Registration District: Derby. Sub-District: Derby Central. Born in the Nightingale Home, Derby, Sixteenth April 1914, Richard Underwood, boy. Father: Percival Harry Underwood, farm labourer of Stakerfields, Mickleover, Derbyshire. Mother: Lavinia Minnie Underwood, Formerly Hart.
Army Records of Richard Underwood:
When he joined the Army on 23 September 1933 he was listed as previously having been a ‘general labourer’, and his religion was listed as ‘Methodist’. He joined the West Yorkshire Regiment for 7 years regular service followed by 5 years in the reserves. His army number was 4535854.
His attestation was, 23 Sept 1933 as Private in UK
Posted to Depot, 27 Sept 1933 as Private in UK
Posted to 2nd battalion. 24 Feb 1934 as Private in UK
Posted to 1st battalion, 19 March 1936 as Private in India
Appointed unpaid Lance Corporal in India on 3 October 1936
Appointed paid Lance Corporal, 8 January 1938 in India
Appointed paid acting Colour Sergeant in India whilst employed as Battalion Quartermaster Sergeant, 1 August 1939 in India.
Posted to 2nd Echelon Emu Force in Singapore as Colour Sergeant, and appointed local Company Quartermaster Sergeant with pay, 1 August 1938
In Singapore 8 August 1939 to 14 February 1942
Missing in Malaya, Singapore,15 February 1942
Prisoner of War in Japanese hands, 15 February 1942 to 6 October 1945
Home, 7 October 1945 as Color Sergeant
Transfered to reserves 12 December 1945
On release leave 13 Dec 1945
Marriage of Richard Underwood
Death of Richard Underwood:
UK Index of deaths, Derby, Vol 3A, page 301, quarter April-June 1965, Underwood Richard, age 51.