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Legacy of George Taylor Richardson expands with local induction

Nearly 100 years after his death on a First World War battlefield, George Taylor Richardson is being recognized by his hometown for his athletic accomplishments.

With the outbreak of the First World War, George Taylor Richardson joined the Canadian Army.

Richardson is one of the greats of Queen’s University’s sporting history, first as a top talent in the early days of hockey as well as being a star football player. The main stadium for sporting events at Queen’s, Richardson Stadium, is named in his memory.

On Friday evening, Richardson will be inducted into the Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame, for his achievements in a life cut short by war.

Born and raised in Kingston, Richardson belonged to perhaps the most prominent family in the history of Queen’s University – his brother James Armstrong Richardson served as chancellor of Queen's and his sister Agnes Richardson Etherington was a mainstay of life at the university and donated her house, now known as the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. James Richardson’s daughter, Agnes Benidickson (BA’41, LLD’79), served as the second chancellor in the family from 1980 to 1996 while other Richardsons have served on the Board of Trustees, and the family has made considerable donations to Queen's libraries and lectureships.

George Taylor Richardson graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering from Queen’s in 1906.

As significant as his induction is for the community, it is even more so for Queen’s.

“The Queen’s community holds a special place in its heart for the stadium that bears the Richardson name and this honour extends that feeling,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf. “The induction of George Taylor Richardson into the Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame is a fitting tribute to his athletic achievements at Queen’s and in Kingston, and to their nearly 100-year legacy.”

[George Taylor Richardson]
George Taylor Richardson netted 23 goals in 12 regular season games for the Queen's Golden Gaels.

In his three seasons with the Golden Gaels hockey team, Richardson netted 23 goals in 12 games. After graduation he played for, and was president of, Kingston’s Frontenac Hockey Club. He also skated for the 14th Regiment of The Princess of Wales’s Own Rifles after joining the military unit in 1907.

Richardson was captain of the regimental team of 1908 when they claimed the Ontario Hockey Association’s senior series, netting seven of his team’s nine goals in the second and final game of the series against Stratford. Later, he was added to the Queen’s University team that won the Allan Cup in 1909. Finally, he would play for the Frontenacs in the OHA senior division in 1911-12 helping the team to the John Ross Robertson Cup final.

With the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914 Richardson enlisted in the Canadian Army and rose to the rank of captain. He was killed in battle on Feb. 9, 1916 in Belgium and was posthumously awarded the Legion of Honour by France.

His brother James would later donate the funds to build George Taylor Richardson Memorial Stadium, which continues to be a cornerstone of sports at Queen’s. In 2014, the Richardson Foundation, the charitable arm of James Richardson & Sons, Limited, pledged $5 million towards the revitalized Richardson Stadium that is scheduled to be opened in 2016.

Richardson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1950.