Albert Richards was born in Liverpool. He studied at the local art school, in 1939 he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art in London. Within three months he was called up for national service. Richards trained first as a sapper (a military engineer), later as a paratrooper, and in 1944 was appointed an Official War Artist. The War Artists Advisory Committee commissioned works to record war in all its aspects; the majority were commissioned from established artists, whilst some came from civilians or members of the forces who were amateurs. Richards first came to the attention of the committee as painter from the second category, and because of the freshness and vitality of the work he produced unofficially the committee acquired a number of works. Following his appointment as an Official War Artist Richards worked mostly in watercolour as speed was of the essence. Ten months after his appointment, he drove his Jeep into a minefield and was killed. At only 25 tears old he was the youngest of the War Artists to be killed.
The Death of a Rose Paintings and Drawings by Captain Albert Richards, The Arts Council of Great Britain, London 1978