Richard was born in Kent, England and baptised in 1899 at Northfleet. His parents were Thomas and Elizabeth Bourne. At the age of seven he came to Australia with his Mother. He attended the Delungra Public School and was a Farm Hand when he enlisted in August 1916 at Inverell. He was one of five men farewelled at Delungra in October and presented with a silver matchbox and two pairs of knitted socks. His Mother gave her consent for him to serve overseas.
Richard joined the 33rd Battalion, 5th Reinforcement which sailed from Australia on the SS Port Napier in November 1916. They arrived in England in January 1917 where they trained for the next three months before being sent to France. Just two months later Richard was Killed in Action during the Battle of Messines on 7 June. He was buried at Toronto Avenue Cemetery, Warneton, Belgium. His few personal effects including a pocket book, cards, photos, fountain pen, ring and metal brooch were returned to his Mother.
Private Richard Bourne has his name inscribed on the Inverell Honor Roll and Cenotaph and the Delungra Honor Roll. In 1919 he was one of the men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade.