Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison Richards Philip John
51985 Colonel Philip John Richards
OBE (1943) DSO (1944) MRCS (Eng) LRCP (Lond 1929) 30 Mar 1906 [Madras] – 22 Aug 1971
Colonel Philip John Richards, one of four medical brothers, was educated at Brighton College, Cambridge University, and St Bartholomew's Hospital, where he qualified in 1929. At Barts he represented the hospital boxing club as a heavyweight and was London Hospitals champion at that weight for three successive years. He held house appointments at Barts and the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, before gaining a commission as a Lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1932.
He served in Madras, Burma, Persia and saw active service in Libya and Italy. In 1941, he took command of a Field Ambulance and showed evidence of his administrative ability by, in the words of his Divisional Commander, turning the worst Field Ambulance in his Division into the best. He was appointed OBE on 25 November 1943, was mentioned in dispatches, and in December 1944 was awarded the DSO for the part he played in the Salerno landing.
After the war, he was sent to Palestine and then was ADMS in Malaya during the guerrilla activities. He was CO British Military
Medical Services in Berlin in 1951 and during the Suez episode in 1956. Having been made a full colonel in 1953, he held
several posts as ADMS, was CO of two military hospitals, and was DDMS Malta from 1957 till he was retired on health
grounds in 1960.1
Colonel P J Richards died suddenly on 22 August 1971 while playing golf. He was 65 years of age; he left a widow, a son and a daughter.
Service Record — Philip John Richards
26 Jan 1932 Appointed Lieutenant on probation. Had been successful for a commission in the RAMC in January 1932. Was confirmed in rank in August 1932.
1 May 1934 Promoted Captain RAMC.
1933–1937 Served in Madras.
1937–1938 Served in Burma.
26 Jan 1940 Appointed an Acting Major RAMC.
26 Jan 1941 Captain (Temporary Major) P J Richards was promoted Major RAMC.
23 June 1941 Granted the rank of Acting Lieutenant Colonel RAMC.
1941–1944 Commanding Officer 214 Field Ambulance. He turned the worst Field Ambulance in the Division into the best.
1942–1945 Served with the Middle East Force and in North Africa (Central Mediterranean Force).