Richardson, 20, had volunteered to take an injured soldier to safety then went back for his pipes. The piper in the 16th Canadian Scottish Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force was not heard of again. Richardson, officially presumed to have died on October 9, 1916, was awarded a posthumous VC, the second piper to be so honoured. Lost in the mud, his bagpipes were found a year later by a British Army chaplain and brought back after the war to Ardvreck preparatory school in Crieff where he was a teacher. In 2002, the pipe major of The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's) discovered that Ardvreck had a set of bagpipes with the same Lennox tartan used by the 16th Canadian.
Andrew Winstanley of The Canadian Club and Pipe Major Roger McGuire were largely responsible for the investigation which identified the pipes. McGuire travelled to Scotland in 2003 to help identify the pipes as those played by Richardson.
An anonymous donor facilitated the purchase of the pipes on behalf of the citizens of Canada. In October 2006, dignitaries visited Ardvreck and received the pipes from the headmaster for repatriation to Canada.
On November 8, 2006, they were officially repatriated when troops from The Canadian Scottish Regiment placed them at the British Columbia Legislature where they are on display.