Tindall, Richard Geoffrey
Born in Sherborne, Dorest, he was the elder son of Kenneth Bassett Tindall (F1898-1903), Headmaster of West Downs School, Winchester, from 1922. His mother was Theodora Mary Tindall, daughter of the Reverend William James Boys. He was the brother of Mark Tindall (H1937-42, also KRRC) who was killed in a training accident in August 1942 (see individual entry). The family re-located to Scotland when West Downs was evacuated to Glenapp Castle in August 1940, and moved again to Blair Castle, at Blair Atholl, Perthshire, in September 1941.
He came from Hawtrey’s Westgate-on-Sea, to Mr. Robinson’s House in 1925. As an athlete he was outstanding, and after being Twelfth Man in 1929 was in Lords in 1930. He also played full back for 2nd XI soccer, rowed in Challenge IVs and got his Fives Colours. In the same year he was Head of House.
In 1930 he went up to Trinity College, Oxford, and gained Third Class Honours in Classical Moderations and Modern Greats. Meanwhile his athletic promise was more than fulfilled. He played golf well. He won his Blue for soccer in 1934 (playing at full-back in the Oxford team which beat Cambridge 3-0 at Stamford Bridge), and for cricket in 1933 and 1934.
Tindall did great service for the Old Wykehamists in the Dunn Cup, which he helped to win.
On leaving Oxford in 1934, he joined the staff at Eton, participating at the Field Game and playing also assisting with cricket coaching. He was Captain in the Eton OTC.
On the outbreak of war he joined the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, becoming Captain in April 1940. In 1940 he served as an instructor at an OCTU, but then joined 2nd Battalion KRRC (2KRRC). The battalion contained at least one other Wykehamist – 2nd Lieutenant Robert Arthur Cecil (E1934-1939) – and two other Eton masters, and left Tidworth on September 23rd 1941, bound, with the rest of 1st Armoured Division, for North Africa. After a period of desert acclimatization at El Amiriya, the Battalion set out on December 27th for Libya. Tindall was second-in-command of ‘D’ Company.
The battalion had, by January 6th 1942, reached the front line near Antelat, forty miles north-east of Agedabia, after a drive of over seven hundred miles. 2KRRC were part of the divisional support group, and were almost immediately in action. The Germans attacked on January 21st, and, with little in the way of anti-tank weapons with which to stop them, the British units began a retreat under constant air attack.
Tindall was killed almost immediately in one of these air raids, at Agedabia, on January 22nd 1942. He was twenty-nine years old, and is commemorated in column 65 of the Alamein Memorial.
A memorial service for Tindall was held in Eton College chapel on Friday March 6th 1942, at 1515. The notice in The Times stated “no mourning”.
- Surname: Tindall
- Forenames or initials: Richard Geoffrey
- House: H
- Years in School: 1925-1930
- Rank: Captain
- Regiment: King's Royal Rifle Corps
- Date of Birth: 20th February 1912
- Date of Death: 22nd January 1942
- How Died: Killed in Action
- Location in War Cloister: Inner E2
- Decoration: NA
- Burial Site: Commemorated on Column 65 of the Alamein Memorial