Richard was educated at the London Hospital, but before taking his M.B., B.S. degree he served in the Balkan War of 1912-13. When the Great War broke out he was holding an appointment at the Poplar Hospital, which he resigned on receiving a commission in the R.A.M.C. Richard originally joined the R.A.M.C. Special Reserve at the rank of Lieutenant on 6th August 1914. He mobilized on the 12th, then entered the war in France on 20th August 1914. He was promoted to Captain on 1st April 1915, then gained a permanent regular army commission at the rank of Lieutenant (T/Captain) on 1st January 1917. On 10th September 1917 he was given the rank of acting Lieutenant Colonel whilst in command of a field ambulance (58th Field Ambulance). He gained the full rank of Captain on 12th February 1918. Richard was mortally wounded while attending to the removal of patients under heavy bombardment, dying the same day. He was the second son of A Eley Preston, M.I.C.E. of St Mawes, Cornwall; and the husband of Mrs G W Preston, the daughter of Charles S Crawford of Newcastle-upon Tyne - married in 1916.