I've looked at the nominal roll for the Imperial Light Infantry, and don't see a Richardson. Is it because he was transferred from the Border Regiment that his name doesn't appear there?
……Sergeant-Instructor Richardson, of the Natal Imperial Light Infantry, and late of the 1st Border Regiment,…...writes from Estcourt under the date of January 4, and says: - …...It is with a feeling of deepest pleasure I am writing these few lines, thanking you most kindly for the paper which I received quite unexpectedly this morning. I can assure you it came to me like the Waverley pen, 'as a boon and blessing to men.' My name was the second on the list as Lanc.-Corpl. Richardson, Border Regiment. I did belong to that regiment, but I am now transferred as Sergt.-Instructor of Musketry to the Imperial Light Infantry. This regiment is, of course, a Colonial Volunteer one, raised at Durban, under Col. Nash, of the Border Regiment. The Adjutant, Lieut. Jackson, also belongs to the same corps. The second lieutenant in command is Major Hay, late of the 42nd Black Watch. The remainder of the officers are all old Volunteers, mostly wearing the Matabele and Mashonaland medals. One of the officers, Lieut. Brown, has served for a time in the 1st Volunteer Battalion, the Border Regiment. He served in the "I" Company, Alston, before coming out here. …...Perhaps it will surprise you to hear that we have more Cumberland and Westmorland men out here in this colonial corps, viz., Sergt. Little, a native of Keswick; Sergt. Mathers, a native of Clifton (his aunt, Miss Jennings, lives in Crown-square, Penrith); Pvt. Thompson, who served his apprenticeship with Mr. Fergus Elliott, tailor, Castle-gate, Penrith; Private McAvoy, Cleator Moor (half brother of Sergt. Mather); and four more Cleator lads. …...I shall attempt to describe the composition of the regiment. We are 962 strong, and are at present on the lines of communication, guarding the railway. This place, Estcourt, is very important as it is only a few miles from Frere and Chieveley, where 20,000 men, comprising two brigades, are encamped. Here we are 10,000 strong, forming Sir Charles Warren's brigade (the fifth), and our part of the action will be the cutting off of the enemy, after the relief of Ladysmith, preventing them from reaching Pretoria. So by the time this reaches "Peerith," we expect to have command of Pretoria ourselves. Troops are arriving here by thousands. To-day, the Canadians, and two batteries of artillery, arrived, the pair of them being received with deafening cheers. Our camp consists of three Lancashire regiments; also Middlesex, Dorset, York, and Lancasters, Somerset Light Infantry; 61st Howitzer Battery, Royal Artillery; 4th Mountain Battery, R.A.; the Natal Field Artillery; and the Imperial Light Infantry...…"
Mid-Cumberland and North Westmorland Herald, Saturday 3rd February 1900
Richardson was also mentioned in a letter home to Penrith, from Private T. Thompson, whose South African address was given as Simpson and Co., West Street, Durban.
……Private Thompson, of the Natal Imperial Light Infantry, writing from Estcourt Camp, on December 21, in a letter to his wife, Mrs. Thompson, Wilson's-row, Penrith, says: We are about seven miles from the front, and can hear the fighting every day. We have to sleep with our belts and bandoliers on and our guns by our side, and I have not had my clothes off for a week. I have just come off doing 24 hours' guard, and I am warned for all night to-night on the hills. I have had all the skin burned off my face by the sun. It is painfully hot here just now...……...We are having very hard work to do now - out every day about 16 miles over the hills, so I have not much time to write. There is a sergeant from the Border Regiment called Richardson attached to us, and he used to work for Jno. Horn, blacksmith, Pooley Bridge...……...Excuse pencil - we can't get ink.
Mid-Cumberland and North Westmorland Herald, Saturday 20th January 1900
WO 100/186 for 1st Border Regt shows "3161 Cpl. F.J.Richardson" as entitled to clasps Cape Colony, Tugela Heights and Relief of Ladysmith on his QSA. Marginal note says "Deceased, served with the Imperial Light Infantry". My guess is that he was serving on detachment to the ILI from his parent regiment and he would not show on the ILI roll. I had a look in Palmer to see if any entry - and he Died of Disease at Sea on 2/8/00.