Richard Edward Cadenaci was born in Sutton, Surrey, in around 1886. His father, who was also called Richard Edward Cadenaci, was a house painter and, with his wife Maria, had thirteen or fourteen children, of whom Richard Jr was the middle one.
Documentation on the Cadenaci family is scarce. On 5th April 1896, when Richard Jr was 10, he and three siblings were baptised together.
By the turn of the century, the family were living on Merton High Street, in Wimbledon. Richard Sr and Maria were there with their youngest five children.
Richard Jr seemed keen on a life of adventure – the 1911 census lists him as a Private in the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, and that he was based in Mauritius. His full military service records are not available, but it is likely that his term of service with the army was extended as war loomed.
Private Cadenaci was sent to France in January 1915 and, during his time in the Great War, he received the Victory and British Medals and the 1915 Star. At some point during the conflict he was transferred across to the Labour Corps, though the move came with a promotion to Corporal. Again, there is little further information about his service, but records suggest that he was discharged from the army – possibly through health reasons – on 20th September 1918.
Here, Richard’s trail goes cold. He died on 23rd March 1920, just eighteen months after the end of this military service, at the age of 32. There is no record of the cause of his passing and nothing to connect him to the town in which he was buried, Worthing, West Sussex.
It is possible that Corporal Cadenaci left the army for medical reasons, and his move out of London was for cleaner air, but this is only presumption on my part, and there is nothing to confirm this either way.
Richard Edward Cadenaci lies at rest in the Broadwater Cemetery in Worthing.