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St James Church Taunton

World War 1 Memorial Project

Albert Wall

 

Name: Albert Wall

Rank: Corporal (Acting Sergeant)

Service Number: 30688

Regiment: Royal Garrison Artillery

Battalion/Unit number: 

Date/year of Birth: c.1890

Place of Birth: Taunton

Place of Residence: 7 Laburnum Street, Taunton

Date of Death: 18th November 1919

Place of Death: Taunton

Burial/Memorial: St James Cemetery, Staplegrove Road, Taunton

Albert Wall was the son of James and Louise Wall. He was one of eight children, one of whom died in infancy. He had three brothers, Henry, William and Arthur and three sisters, Ethel, Minnie and Hilda. Originally the family lived in King Street Taunton but by 1901 they were at 4 Laburnum Street. Arthur's father was a Mason, and by 1911 worked in the gasworks. Albert joined the Royal Artillery in 1909 and was stationed in Malta in 1911. His two brothers, Arthur and William also served in the army. Arthur joined the Royal Garrison Artillery and died in India in 1918; his brother William joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and appears to have survived, having served three years.

Both Arthur and Albert died as a result of the war, but Albert died after the armistice after he had been discharged home. He is buried in the St James cemetery in Staplegrove Road. As a result is not totally clear as to which A. Wall is commemorated on the war memorial but as Arthur died during the war he is the more likely.

Albert  joined the RGA on 5th January 1909 and initially served in England. From November 1909 to 1913 he served overseas and at the time of the 1911 census was in Malta. He returned to England and remained there until March 1915. We are fortunate to have his pension record which gives some information about his war time service. He embarked on 21st March 1915 from Avonmouth for Alexandria and then posted as part of the 181st Siege Battery for Gallipoli. On 30th October he was wounded and treated at a dressing station before being transferred out by hospital ship to Malta on the 29th October. He was in St Patrick’s hospital, moved twice before being invalided home on 12th December aboard the Hospital Ship Evani suffering from diarrhoea  and dental issues. He remained in England until October 1916.

In October 1916 he re-embarked at Southampton for further field service again with the 181st Siege Battery.  The 181st was in Italy in late 1917, part of the force sent by Lloyd George to prevent the collapse of the Italian Front, were they served in the battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917 supporting the Canadian 4th Division.  

Albert had influenza in December but returned to duty after seven days. On 7th July 1917 he acted and then was promoted to Corporal (he may have been a Lance Corporal since September 1916).  He was again admitted to hospital in August 1917 for nine days.  On 17th November 1917 he went home to England on leave.  On returning to duty on 22nd January 1918 he was transferred to the 260th (6) battery. In October / November he was twice promoted temporarily to Sergeant.

Albert survived the war and returned home on 15th August 1919. Following the end of the war Albert had married Beatrice Salter on 26th August 1918. Their home was at 7 Laburnum Street, the same street as his parents. We do not know the circumstances of his death, whether it was in the post war influenza epidemic, but Albert died on 18th November 1919. He is buried in St. James Cemetery and is included on the CWGC roll of honour, but not it would appear on the St. James or Vivary Park war memorials.

According to his pension record Albert was a Baptist, so it is possible he is recorded elsewhere.

 

 

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