Richard was the son of Ernest Harry and Amelia Knibbs. He was born in Headington. At the time of the 1911 census, they were living at 23 Thorncliffe Road, Summertown, Oxford and Ernest was a Clerk in the Bursary at Magdalen College. Ernest’s father living in Pembroke Street, Oxford, had been long employed as a college servant.

From 1922 until 1924, Richard was educated at H.M.S. Conway. He visited the United States in that year.

He married Norah Mary Franklin at Abingdon in 1932. They had a son in 1939 and a daughter in 1943.

In October 1938, Richard was awarded his “A” & “B” Gliding Certificates by the Royal Aero Club. He was a member of The Oxford University and City Gliding Club. It came into being on 2 December 1937 at Christ Church. The Club's first operational site was at Cumnor Meadow, west of the city. [Now under the Farmoor Reservoir.]  An unpublished account of the Club's formation, notes that members erected a hangar in April/May 1938 and purchased a pair of Dagling primary gliders, with a trailer, from Messrs Zander & Scott at Dunstable. 

He joined the 80 (Berkshire) HAA Regiment and was a Lieutenant when he was killed in Italy on Friday 13 October 1944.

He was Mentioned in Despatches.

He is buried in the Florence War Cemetery Plot VI. C. 8.

He is commemorated in the Royal Military Chapel, Sandhurst.

Richard’s connection to Christ Church has not been found.