Military Monday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.
We all have ancestors who have served in the military. Military Monday is a place to post their images, stories and records of their service in various branches of the military.
Richard Henry Espley is my wife’s 1st cousin 1x removed. In other words he is a nephew of her grandfather.
Richard was born on 27 December 1906 to parents Frank Espley and Florence May Phillips.
In the 1911 census Richard was living with his parents and sister, Margaret, at 25 Duke Street, Pontefract, West Yorkshire.
Up until recently I didn’t have any information about Richard between 1911 and the date of his marriage to Isabella Keddie Cuthbert on 7 November 1934 at St Andrews & St Leonards, Fife, Scotland.
I now know that he joined the RAF at the age of about 18. He met Isabella while stationed at St Andrews and they went on to have three children.
In the 1939 Register the family are living at 73 Oakenhall Avenue, Hucknall, Nottinghamshire.
Richard was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in recognition of his valour in connection with Coastal Command during WW2.
Below is an article from the St Andrews Citizen of 30 January 1943.
AWARDED BEM – Pilot Officer Richard Henry Espley, whose wife is a St Andrean, has received the BEM from the hands of the King at Buckingham Palace in recognition of his valour in connection with the Coastal Command. Pilot Officer Espley is a native of Pontefract and has served 18 years in the RAF. He is 36 years of age and his wife and three children have resided in Hucknall for the past four years. Before her marriage Mrs Espley was Isabella Keddie Cuthbert daughter of Mr Alexander Cuthbert of 2 St Nicholas Street, who was in three wars, the Zulu and the Boer Wars and the Great War. Mr Cuthbert is at present undergoing treatment in DRI for internal trouble. He is 75 years of age. Mrs Espley was married eight years ago, and met her husband when he was stationed in the neighbourhood of St Andrews.
Richard died at the age of 99 in May 2006. Isabella had died 22 years earlier about May 1984.