Aged 20 I was unemployed and playing records in my bedroom through the day and staying up to 2am watching films through the night. When Albert was 20 he was in the King's Royal Rifle Corps and fighting in Villers Plouich in France in the First World War.
On Tuesday 20th November 1917 his company’s advance through countryside was suddenly held up by machine-gun fire in the mid-distance. Albert volunteered to rush the gun and, although ordered not to, he ran selfishly about 70 yards towards the splaying gun. He tossed a Mills bomb at the gunners killing both and took over the gun.
The troops continued their advance and came under heavy machine-gun fire again. When the last officer and the last non-commissioned officer had become casualties Albert took command of the men. He ordered them to lie down and then under heavy gunfire made his way across to a tank to get help. He then returned to his company and finally led them to their last objective. King George V presented Albert with the Victoria Cross on February 1918 at Buckingham Palace.
After the war Albert returned home to Royston. Before joining the army he’d worked at the local colliery as a pony driver and retuned there as a caretaker. He married Rosezillah Tillman but she died within six years. He married for a second time to Gladys. They had a daughter called Mildred but she died aged five. They also had a son Ken who still lives locally. He had qualified for an army pension having been seriously wounded in the arm and gassed twice
He died at his home not far from this grave aged 69. He was given a full military funeral, the Union Flag draped across his coffin and his Victoria Cross (and Croix de Guerre medal) were laid upon it. The Last Post and Reveille were played by this grave.
He’s around here somewhere…
Touching the “VC”…