The family lived at 19 Killesier Avenue, Streatham.
A chemist and metallurgist, the third son of a family of three sons and one daughter of Charles Willerton Richardson (d. 1916/17), managing director of Asquith and Lord, of Bombay, and his wife, Kate Harriet Bunker, a schoolteacher.
Both Richardson's parents died while he was young, and from 1919 the family was raised by his maternal aunt, Omie, and her friend, a Mrs Parrot.
Richardson was educated at University School in Hastings, and at University College, London (of which he became a fellow in 1971), where he graduated in chemistry in 1932. Charles Goodeve, lecturer in chemistry, steered him to carrying out a PhD on the oxides of chlorine, which he completed in 1936.(Oxford DNB)
Image © National Portrait Gallery, London under the Creative Commons License By Bassano Ltd half-plate film negative, 9 December 1964