LIEUTENANT RICHARD LAUDER SALE SALE
ROYAL HORSE GUARDS
15TH JANUARY 1918 AGE 30
BURIED: TINCOURT NEW BRITISH CEMETERY, FRANCE
Born and brought up in Atherstone, Warwicksire, Richard Lauder Sale was one of the four sons of Alfred and Gertrude Sale. In 1913, Richard married Dorothy Mary Northcott, the third daughter of the Vicar of Atherstone. She too had been born in the town. One imagines that the couple had known each other all their lives. This makes the inscription she chose for her husband all the more poignant.
It comes from the poem 'Missing' by Geoffrey Dearmer (1893-1996), which was published in 1918 in a collection of his verse. Dorothy Sale knew her husband wasn't missing, she knew he was dead, she'd placed an announcement of his death in the 22 January edition of The Times, but the words of the poem still rang true for her:
How should I grieve? His life inspired in me
A joy that shall outlive eternity,
Wrought out, complete, unsnared by time and age
My jewelled past my precious heritage.
Shall misery usurp my realm of years
And leave me drowning in self-pitying tears,
A derelict in my own whirlpool swirled -
Me - whom Love crowned an empress of the world?
When the war broke out, Richard Sale was in practice as a solicitor with his father, Alfred, and his brother, Edward. Early in 1915 he joined the Inns of Court OTC and that September was commissioned into the Household Cavalry. He served at the front from February 1916 until his death in January 1918. In June 1916 he became his regiment's sniping and patrol officer and early in 1917 was promoted to brigade sniping officer. It was his duty among other things to make daily reports about the location of sniper posts and to liaise with the artillery for their removal. Sale died of wounds received in a raid on 15 January 1918.