Honouring family bravery

This Is Wiltshire: Alan Richardson with his book in which Sting wrote the foreword Alan Richardson with his book in which Sting wrote the foreword

Mobile library driver and author Alan Richardson’s latest publication struck a cord with musician Sting.

Geordie’s War documents the time Mr Richardson’s grandfather, Private George Matthew Richardson, spent serving with the Northumberland Fusiliers during the First World War.

Sting, who fronted The Police, wrote the foreword.

Mr Richardson, 63, who has worked as a Wiltshire Council mobile library driver for seven years and whose route takes in Chippenham, went to college with the singer in Northumberland.

He said: “I knew him many years ago, when he was simply Gordon [Sumner], playing with Earthrise at college.

“A little while back, he’d got in touch to say he’d liked one of my books and I asked if he would like to do the foreword for Geordie’s War.

“I knew Sting had a great interest and passion about the First World War and I’m really pleased to have him involved.”

The author started on his latest book in the summer of 2012, while recovering from an operation, by researching his grandfather who was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Military Medal and Bar.

Mr Richardson, who lives in Trowbridge with his wife Margaret, said: “My grandfather didn’t like to speak about the war.

“Geordie’s War touches on the influences my grandfather’s time serving had on my father, who is also called George Matthew Richardson, and the rest of our family.”

The author used information from a pocket watch that his grandfather was given by the people of his home town of Ashington for bravery, to research his book.

This helped him track down long-lost family members in America who filled in some gaps about Pte Richardson, who died in 1944.

Mr Richardson, who has four children, hopes Wiltshire Council will keep copies of Geordie’s War in libraries. He said: “My family are all absolutely delighted with it. I’ve told them to keep a copy as it is an heirloom in our family.”

Geordie’s War is available to buy on www.amazon.co.uk

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