Richard was born in 1889, the son of the headmaster of Belle Vue School, Richard Lishman and his wife Mary.At the time of the 1911 census, Richard jnr was already in the army serving as a corporal in the Royal Engineers in Egypt.On 5 March 1915, the Shipley Times & Express reported:“Mr James Lishman of Idle has this week received an interesting letter from his brother, Sgt R Lishman, who is at the front in charge of a signalling detail.“When the war broke out Sgt Lishman was in India where he had been for 18 months and so anxious was he to do his ‘little bit’ for his country that he offered to sacrifice his stripes and become a private again if the officer in charge of his regiment would allow him to come over to Europe to fight against the Germans.“But Sgt Lishman, who has a remarkably fine record, was
regarded as too good an officer to lose and he was ordered to wait and see whether the services of his regiment were required in France.“Subsequently he got his wish gratified. He was sent to do duty with the headquarters staff who were at a farm house not far behind the firing line.“He had not been there long before shells began to fall on the part of the building in which a reserve of ammunition was stored.“For some time, they were engaged in the work of removing the ammunition under shell fire – a very dangerous task.”This was followed up by another article on 9 July 1915.
“It has now been officially reported that Sgt R Lishman, brother of Mr J Lishman of Idle, has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for great gallantry and devotion to duty as signaller.‘This non-commissioned officer,’ says the official statement, ‘has done consistently good and most valuable work in maintaining telephonic communication between trenches and has always been ready by day or night to go out and repair the wires.’“It may be added – as indeed it will be understood – that he had often to carry out his duties under great difficulty.”On 16 June 1916, the newspaper
reported that the man who had volunteered to be demoted to private was now a commissioned officer:“The London Gazette of June 9th announces Sgt R Lishman (son of the headmaster of Belle Vue Secondary School, Bradford, and brother of Mr J Lishman of Bradford Road, Idle) is promoted to second lieutenant for service in the field.“Twelve months ago he won the D.C.M. After fighting for a year in France and Belgium, he accompanied his regiment to Salonika in November last. “Before the war he had served in Malta, Alexandria, Cairo, Khartoum, Dagshat, Simla and Delhi.“The commission is in the Regular Army and not merely for the period of the war.”Richard’s nephew, also Richard, also fought in the war when he lost a leg. Link to his story below.