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Richards, Denis (George) 1910-2004

RICHARDS, Denis (George) 1910-2004

OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born September 10, 1910, in London, England; died November 25, 2004, in London, England. Historian, civil servant, and author. Richards was well known as the author of British history books, especially those concerning the Royal Air Force. A graduate of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he earned a B.A. in 1931 and an M.A. in 1935, he was assistant master at Manchester Grammar School during the 1930s and senior history and English master at Bradfield College from 1939 to 1941. When Great Britain entered the war, he enlisted in the Royal Air Force. Assigned to the Air Ministry, he was senior narrator there for the duration of World War II. As such, he worked in the RAF's historical branch and recorded the air force's operations. This led to his publications on the RAF, beginning with the three-volume Royal Air Force, 1939-1945 (1953-54). He would later write more books about the RAF, including Portal of Hungerford (1978), The Battle of Britain (1989), which he wrote with Richard Hough, The Few and the Many (1990), and The Hardest Victory (1994). After the war, Richards was hired as a principal for the Air Ministry, a job he left in 1950 to become head of Morley College. In this role, Richards was instrumental in the difficult challenge of rebuilding the war-decimated campus. In 1965, he went to work for the University of Sussex, where he was Longmans fellow from 1965 until he retired in 1968. He worked as a full-time freelance writer after that, producing many respected history texts. Among his history publications are An Illustrated History of Modern Europe, 1789-1938 (1938; fifth edition, 1950), which was published in Canada as The Modern Age (1955), Britain under the Tudors and Stuarts (1958), Medieval Britain (1971), written with A. Ellis, and the memoirs Just to Recall the Flavour (1999) and It Might Have Been Worse (1999). Named to the Order of the British Empire in 1990, Richards kept active in later life (despite suffering from Parkinson's disease), by serving as vice president of the Purcell School for Young Musicians and chairing the Women's League of Health and Beauty.

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Guardian (London, England), December 13, 2004,
p. 19.

Independent (London, England), December 6, 2004,
p. 34.

Times (London, England), December 16, 2004, p. 59.

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