February 21, 2013

Get To Know a Hall of Famer: George Richardson

Not too many people know that George Richardson is a Hockey Hall of Famer.

We can't blame people for that, I guess. After all, he was born in 1886. He never played professional hockey. And he died in 1916, a casualty of World War I.

Richard was said to be among the fastest skaters and finest stickhandlers of his time. He starred at Queen's University and later with the Kingston 14th Regiment and Kingston Frontenacs of senior hockey.

When he wasn't playing hockey the independently wealthy Richardson was working as a mining engineer or helping the family grain exporting business. But he put his whole life on hold when he enlisted in the Canadian army to help fight in World War I. Ultimately he gave up his promising life for the cause, dying in action on February 9th, 1916.

The Hockey Hall of Fame gives this description of Richardson's death:
He joined the army with the rank of Lieutenant and held the rank of Captain on his death. As a member of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Battalion during World War I he was returning from a night raid when he was shot through the hips by enemy fire. He was dragged back to the trench while still conscious but died soon after.
After his death, a fellow officer wrote:
'His skill and daring in reconnaissance and patrol work were known throughout the whole Division. No officer was ever more beloved by his men, who were ready to follow him anywhere. On his grave they put a wreath inscribed 'To one who played the game.' Could any officer ask a higher tribute ?'

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