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6498: Albert Alty, South Lancashire Regiment.

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posted on 2024-01-17, 17:23 authored by Lest We Forget Project Team

Albert Alty was my uncle. He was the son of William and Selina Alty. Before the war he was a joiner. Immediately before the war he worked for C. E. Bennett & Co. Ltd., Union and Bengal Mills, Manchester. Before going to Manchester he had been an active member of various organisations connected with St Paul's Church, Southport. He married Jean Frances Waddell in 1911 and their daughter, Daisy, was born a about year later. He had two brothers who also saw active service in the First World War.

Albert enlisted on 28th August 1914. He joined the 2nd Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment with service number 11722. He went to France on 05/12/1914. On Christmas Eve 1914 he went into the trenches. He sent many postcards and letters home, which I have now. The letters usually start with "Just a few lines to let you know that I am still in the land of the living and keeping in good health and spirits' or something similar. There is mention in the letters of George and Jane. George is likely to be Albert's brother and Jane George's wife. There are mentions of Wilfred, Frank and Harold, all likely to be Albert's brothers. I have one letter from Jean Alty to Albert Alty dated Saturday Sep 30th [1916]. It Refers to Albert going out to supper with Gilbert Taylor.

Albert was wounded and was in hospital in Boulogne. One of his letters was written on 10/09/1916 while he was in hospital. This was followed by a period at the Convalescent Depot at Boulogne. On 11/10/1916 he wrote, saying he was going to rejoin his regiment that day.

Albert was reported as missing on 21/10/1916 and there followed a long period of uncertainty as to what had happened to him. A letter from Sergeant Jos. Harrel dated 19th February 1917 said that he had buried Albert. In a letter to Mrs Alty dated 21/02/1917 Lieut J. S. Boast says that he is not going to tell her to give up all hope of hearing from Albert, but to be candid he thought he had been killed. An official letter dated 21 July 1917 indicated that Albert had been killed in active service on 21/10/1916. He is buried at Grandcourt Road Cemetery, Grandcourt, Somme, France. He was killed only two weeks after being sent back to the front. It is thought that he had not fully recovered from his injuries. Albert was 29 when he was killed.

I have a letter which is from a cousin, Jean, and addressed to Miss N. Waddell at Southport. The cousin lived at Tillicoultry, Scotland. Miss N. Waddell is likely to be Eleanor, sister of Jean, Albert Alty's wife. The letter is dated 11th March, 1916. The letter is a letter of sympathy about Albert Alty. The date on the letter is before the death of Albert Alty. However, examination of the postmark on the envelope shows the year as 1917.

Jean wrote to C. E. Bennett & Co. Ltd. About money and pensions. I have the reply letters from the company.


Name of contributor(s)

Eleanor Russell

Subject of the story/individual the object(s) relate to

Albert Alty. Lance Corporal, South Lancashire Regiment.

Date(s) the event(s) in the story took place

28/08/1914; 21/10/1916.

Location(s) where the event(s) in the story took place

Southport, Lancashire, England. Boulogne, France. Grandcourt Road Cemetery, Grandcourt, Somme, France.


1. Postcards, mostly embroidered and from Albert Alty. 14 images. 2. Letters and a two cards from Albert Alty to his wife, Jean, and daughter, Daisy. Includes a few letters written to others. 99 images. 3. Letter from Jean Alty to Albert Alty dated Saturday Sep 30th [1916]. Refers to Albert going out to supper with Gilbert Taylor. 2 images. 4. Letter, dated Feb: 19th 1917, to Jean Alty from Sgt: Jos: Harral, 9th Lanc: Fus: indicating he had buried Albert Alty. 2 images. 5. Letter, dated 21/02/1917, to Jean Alty from Lieut J. S. Boast telling her he thought Albert had been killed. 2 images. 6. Letter, dated 21/02/1917, to Magg & Little Arthur from Arthur, her husband. 2 images. 7. Letter, dated 21/02/1917, to Jean Alty from brother Arthur. 2 images. 8. Letter of sympathy, dated 05/03/1917, to Jean Alty from Albert Linaker, an old friend of Albert Alty,. 2 images. 8. Letter from a cousin, Jean, addressed to Miss N. Waddell at Southport. Date: 11/03/1917. 4 images. 10. Letters from C. E. Bennett & Co. Ltd., Union and Bengal Mills, Manchester, to Mrs Alty (Albert's wife) regarding Albert and related financial matters. Albert used to work for C. E. Bennett & Co. Ltd. 9 images. 11. Souvenir d'Ypres Legia Avant & Après la Guerre. Select Librairie-Papeterie Imprimerie M. Bossaert 11, Rue au Beurre, 11 Ypres. This contains a series of photographs of buildings in Ypres before and after they were damaged in the war. Handwritten notes on the cover refer to the Pilgrimage of 1928 and a visit made on July 3rd 1980. 13 images. 12. Official letter dated 03/01/1918 from Infantry Records, Shrewsbury, indicating that L Cpl A Alty is buried at Grandcourt Road Cemetery. 2 images. 13. Newspaper cutting containing a photograph and article about Lance-Corporal Albert Alty. The article mentions that his parents had two other sons on active service, one in France and the other, after being in France, had been drafted to India. 1 image. 14. Form from the Imperial War Graves Commission about the grave of Albert Alty along with two photographs. 3 images. 15. Certificate of Death from the War Office for Lance Corporal A Alty. 16. Official Letter from Infantry Records, Shrewsbury, dated 21/07/1917, indicating that L/ Cpr Albert Alty had been killed in action on 21st October 1916. He had previously been reported missing on 21st October 1916. 1 image. 16. Letter to Mrs J. F. Alty that accompanied the payment of money due to her as sole legatee of Albert Alty. I image. 18. Letter to Mrs J. Alty dated 18/07/1917 from the War Office in response to her letter about Albert Alty. 1 image. 19. British Legion Battlefields Pilgrimage. Order of Service at the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium on August 8th, 1918. 5 images. 20. The Memorial Window at St. Paul's Parish Church, Southport, and a photograph of the Choir. 2 images. 21. Extracts from The War Graves of the British Empire including a map showing the location of Grandcourt Road Cemetery and details of Lce. Cpl. Albert Alty. 6 images. 22. Photograph of Albert Alty. 1 image. 23. Princess Mary Box which contained a Christmas present for Christmas 1914. 1 image. 24. Certificate of Appreciation from Southport War Comforts Committee dated 1919 to Mrs Alty in connection with the work of providing garments and surgical appliances to men on active service and in hospital also in supplying food to prisoners of war during the Great War, 1914-1919. 1 image. 25. Scroll commemorating L/Cpl. Albert Alty S. Lancashire Regt. 1 image. 26. Medals awarded to Albert Alty: British War Medal, 1914-15 Star, Victory Medal. A peace medal. 1 image.

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