Shropshire Star

Fond memories of the 'other' Gordon Richards

Meet Gordon Richards – the other Gordon Richards.

Gordon Richards, Reg Oliver, and John Latham in the late 1940s.

Our recent feature on the life of Sir Gordon, who was born in Donnington Wood, prompted 93-year-old John Latham to get in touch with his memories of the legendary jockey's namesake nephew.

And among his cherished mementoes from his Army days is a picture of them together taken on a theatre trip to Wolverhampton while on leave.

"Gordon Richards is on the left. He was the nephew of Sir Gordon Richards, the jockey, and he lived in London Road, St Georges," said Mr Latham.

"Behind us is another relation of his, Reg Oliver, who lived in Snedshill. That's me on the right.

"Gordon's father's name was Edward and the photo was taken while we were all on leave together.

"We were National Servicemen.

"I served in the Royal Army Service Corps and had to go to Copthorne barracks in 1947 when I was called up. Gordon Richards was in the King's Shropshire Light Infantry. He worked at the REME workshops in Hadley.

"Reg Oliver had just finished in the Army and was on leave."

Mr Latham said the photo was taken at a Wolverhampton photo studio or booth when they went to the theatre there.

Sadly, Gordon died quite young.

"He was just an ordinary lad I got to know, and we went about together."

Mr Latham also knew the famous jockey well.

"He used to come to race at Chester and would stay the night at London Road in St Georges, and I would see him there. He was a friend of mine."

Mr Latham, who lived then, as now, in Trench, came out of the Army in 1949 and went on to serve for 42 years at COD Donnington, ending as transport manager.

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