Date: 20 Jun 1958
Place: South Dock, Sunderland
George Richardson was found on the mud in South Dock in Sunderland on the night of Monday 30 June 1958.
He had been missing from his home in Albion Road East, Sunderland since 20 June 1958. He was last seen in the company of another 4-year-old friend that had lived in Linskill Street in North Shields.
His body was found after an 11-day nationwide search for him. It was discovered at low tide about 300 yards inside the dock gate by two 16-year-old boys.
It was understood that George Richardson had a chaff mark round his neck when he was found but it was noted that that might just have been caused by his collar. However, the police said that they had not ruled out foul play.
During the 11-day search for George Richardson an intensive search was made in the Tynemouth borough where George Richardson was last seen with his friend. However, enquiries were also made along Fish Quay after a watchman reported having chased two boys away from a trawler there. The search later focussed on Northumberland Park after a park keeper there said that he thought that he had seen George Richardson's friend there with another boy, thought possibly to have been George Richardson. Over 100 policemen searched the park, some with tracker dogs whilst members of the River Tyne Police dragged the lake there.
People living nearby also helped in the search, searching their property, including out-houses, allotments and even wells.
The police also contacted the skippers of three North Shields trawlers that had left port at about the time that George Richardson disappeared whilst they were at sea and asked them to search their vessels for him.
It was reported that as hopes of finding George Richardson faded, more police were called in to search Northumberland Dock, but still with no luck.
His post mortem showed that he had drowned. When he was found it was reported that there was no sign of injury to him.
An open verdict was returned at his inquest.
George Richardson's funeral took place on Friday 11 July 1958. Crowds were said to have lined the pavements outside his home in Albion Road East and there was a general surge forward as the hearse drew up at the door. There were said to have been more people outside St Augustin's Church in North Shields were his service was conducted and more crowd at Preston Cemetery where he was buried with most of the people standing a few yards from his graveside.
see Shields Daily News - Tuesday 01 July 1958
see Shields Daily News - Saturday 12 July 1958
see Belfast Telegraph - Tuesday 01 July 1958