Private Richard Hardiman Huxley (1892-1951) was born at Wickhamford, the eldest son of Mary Huxley and Richard Hardiman. Mary Huxley was married to Edmund Huxley, by whom she had eight children, but the couple had separated. The Huxleys had moved to Wickhamford in about 1884, but they were living apart by the time of the baptism of their eighth child, Rose Ellen, in October 1890 (“married woman living apart from her husband” was written in the baptismal register). By the time of the 1891 census, Mary was living with five of her children in a cottage near the Manor House, in the home of 22-year-old bachelor, Richard Hardiman.
A younger brother, Albert Huxley, who was to perish in the Great War and is listed on the Badsey war memorial, was born in 1896. In the School Register, the Parent/Guardian was either given as Mary Huxley or Richard Hardiman, so the relationship was acknowledged, although on census returns, Richard was referred to as the lodger.
The Huxley/Hardiman family left Wickhamford for Whittington in 1900, but returned again in 1902. By the time of the 1911 census, they were living at Bowers Hill (present-day No 1). It is possible that they had moved there in 1906 when the cottages were built. Richard and Albert, their father and four of their half-brothers who were still living at home, were all working as market gardener’s labourers. Mary Huxley died at Badsey in 1913, aged 61.
Richard enlisted in the 8th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment on 22nd September 1909 (No 1568) and was discharged on 22nd September 1915 having completed the 6 years of service for which he signed up. He re-enlisted on 5th August 1916 in the same battalion (No 5879). In addition to his brother, Albert, two of his half-brothers, James Huxley and Frederick George Huxley, also enlisted.