Occupation: Law Clerk
James Macdonald Richmond was born on 17 April 1888 at Wanganui to Maurice Wilson Richmond and Flora Hursthouse Richmond (nee Macdonald). James came from a politically conscious and active family. His father, Maurice was born in Nelson in 1862 after his parents had been evacuated from Taranaki to Nelson during the Taranaki Wars. James was one of three children, having one brother and one sister.
James grew up in Wanganui and in 1901 attended Wanganui Collegiate then attended Nelson Boys College from 1903 to 1906. In January 1906 he passed the Matriculation and Solicitor's General Knowledge examination.
Between the years of 1909 to 1911 James was in the Cadets and in the Volunteer Corps, Officers Training Corps, attaining the rank of Corporal.
By April 1911 James achieved the rank of 2nd Lieutenant and at this time was attached to the Royal NZ Artillery Department, Wellington.
In 1914 James worked as an adjutant of the Wellington Garrison Artillery Division (Territorials).
James gained a Lieutenant's commission with the Royal New Zealand Artillery in April 1914 and for a time was Assistant to the NZ Military Secretary. James was attested on 5 August at Awapuni.
James embarked with the Main Body, Field Artillery on 16 October as Acting-Adjutant to the O.C. Artillery. He sailed from Wellington aboard HMNZT 10, Arawa. The destination was Suez, Egypt and they arrived there on 3 December.
James embarked for the Dardanelles on 12 April. He landed in the first boat conveying New Zealand troops to the shores of Gallipoli and remained at Anzac Cove till the final day of evacuation, when he embarked in the last boat having volunteered to assist in the blowing up of an old howitzer which was kept in action until the last moment.
James was promoted to Captain on 26 July then on 2 October he was promoted to Brigade Major of the Divisional Artillery.
On 8 April 1916 he embarked for France aboard the steamer Hungerford from Alexandria.
He served in Flanders and through the Battle of the Somme in mid-September. James received a Citation for Military Cross which was dated 3 June 1916.
James began 1917 by being admitted sick to hospital for a period of four days. He was then promoted to Major on 25 of January. In July James was able to have a week's leave before rejoining his unit in the field.
James again received a Citation for ‘Mentioned in Despatches’ (MID) then in June was made a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO).
James was detached to 1st Brigade in July and then posted as the Officer Commanding of the 9th Battery, New Zealand Field Artillery on 7 August.
He was appointed Commanding Officer, 2nd (Army) Brigade, NZ Field Artillery, on 27 October, Lieutenant Colonel (appointment not ratified) as he was killed the same day.
Major James Richmond, DSO, MC was killed in action on 27 October 1918 at Le Cateau, France, aged 30 years. He was killed instantaneously by a 5.9 shell on the high road between Salesman and Le Quesnoy at the entrance to his new headquarters, a ruined cottage adjacent to the batteries. He was buried in Solesmes Communal Cemetery. The service was officiated by Rev. J. A. Jermyn. General Sir Andrew Russell and many of his comrades in the artillery attended the service.