THE great-niece of a soldier who was killed in the First World War weeks before it ended visited his grave to mark the 100th anniversary of his death.

Judy Price from Old Town took a trip to northern France with her sister Catherine to visit memorials and place a wreath on her great-uncle Albert Richardson’s grave.

He had been transporting ammunition to the front line near Trescault when a shell exploded under his vehicle.

He was evacuated back to Ruyaulcourt for treatment but died in an advance dressing station there in the early hours of September 13 1918, just weeks before the armistice.

Judy, who is blind, said: “Visiting his grave was an intense experience but I’m very glad we went.

“We were there for three days and packed a lot in, so it was physically and emotionally draining.

“I think that Catherine and I are the first family members from this generation to visit Albert’s grave and it felt fitting to do so 100 years on.

“There is a certain stillness and peace to the cemeteries which is such a poignant contrast to the noise and chaos of the war.

“It’s hard to wrap your head around, it’s difficult to imagine what it would have been like for them.

“I don’t think we can really fully comprehend how much loss they suffered and the appalling conditions they fought in.

She said: “It’s one of mankind’s greatest mistakes and there is a great sadness to it all.

“We were both very emotional when we laid the wreath.

“He almost made it to the end, which makes it harder in a way, you can’t help imagining what could have been.”

Catherine came up with the idea of the visit after she told a friend, retired army colonel Chris Harvey, about letters her great-uncle had written to her great-grandmother.

The ex-colonel tagged along on their trip to help them follow in Albert’s footsteps and provide more details about the battles his battalion fought in.

They visited French, British, Canadian and German memorials, and the Lochnagar Crater Memorial, which marks the start of the Battle of the Somme.

On September 13, they said a prayer and laid the wreath on Albert’s grave.

Judy added: “Seeing the crater was fascinating and awe-inspiring.

“I’m always amazed by the effort that has gone into building and maintaining these memorials, it’s very touching.It’s made me interested to visit other sites like Ypres. Having Chris the colonel there with us to explain the context of it all made it more tangible and real.

“It’s important that we keep remembering those we lost, especially as the war gets further away and there are no survivors left.”