ATKIN[S], Albert

No.18979, Private, Albert ATKINS
Aged 22

7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Friday 11th May 1917

Albert Atkin was born in 1895 in Bardwell (Thingoe Q1-1895 A:815), son of George and Hannah ATKINS (née SPALL).

1901 census...Aged 6, he was at Hill Cottage, Bardwell with his widowed mother Hannah ATKINS [49] born Debenham; his sisters Elizabeth [19], Annie [17] and Hilda [15]; brothers William [18] farm labourer and Arthur [9]. All the children were born in Bardwell. His father died in 1900.

1911 census...Aged 16, a house painter, he was at Bardwell Green with his mother and brothers William(horse man) and Arthur (bricklayer's labourer). All 8 siblings survive. CWGC have mother's address as Guildhall, Bardwell as does the pension card.

His elder brother William died in Egypt in June 1915. see here

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds in May 1915. He died at No.19 Casualty Clearing Station,
With no service record available there is no way of saying when or where he was wounded. The battalion had suffered greatly on 28th April and had gone into Reserves

The Bury Free Press of 19th May 1917 reported:-

This week we have to add the name of Prvt.A.Atkins, Macine Gunner, Suffolk Regiment, to the list of young men from Bardwell who have paid the supreme penalty. Prvt.Atkins brings the number of such to 13. His widowed mother, who resides in the Guildhall, Bardwell, received on Tuesday morning the following letter:-
"19th Casualty Clearing Station, B.E.F., May 11th 1917 -Dear Mrs. Atkins, Prvt Atkins was admitted to this station very badly wounded in the chest.He seemed to improve, but then got much worse and died on the 11/5/17: he was very ill at the time he sent his love. He is buried in the British Cemetery, his grave being marked with a cross and his name and number. His belonging will be sent to you later by the War Office. Please accept my sincere sympathy, Yours truly. C.Batly T.F.N.S., Matron"
In p-re-war times, Prvt Atkins was employed by Mr.Middleditch as a painter. Much sympathy is extended to the mother, who has already lost one son and has two more serving, one in France and the other at Salonika.

Accompanying the photo of the four Atkins brothers below in the Bury Free Press of 29th September 1917 was the caption

Our picture represents the four stalwart soldier sons of Mrs. Atkins, of the Guildhall, Bardwell, all of whom are, or have been, serving their country in its hour of dire need. Unfortunately two of the gallant quartette have made the great sacrifice fr their country's cause of freedom and justice.
Prvt Ernest Atkins, of the Norfolk Regiment is at present serving in France. Previous to being called up he was employed as a bricklayer by Mr.Middleditch.
Prvt William Atkins was attached to the East Anglian Division of the R.A.M.C. We regret to say that he died from wounds received whilst engaged in removing the wounded from the fighting line during operations in Gallipoli on June 4th 1915. Before donning khaki, Mr Ranson, of the Water Mill claimed his services.
Sapper Arthur Atkins of the Royal Engineers is now serving with the Salonica army. Previous to joining up he was employed at Potton, Bedfordshire
Prvt Albert Atkins was a machine gunner in the Suffolks. He died from wounds received in action in France on May 11th 1917. He was employed as a painter by Mr.Middleditch until called up for service.
Mrs. Atkins has also a son-in-law (Prvt J.Norman) who has been a prisoner of war in Germany since the early days of the war. Truthfully it may be said that this family has answered the call nobly and borne its share of the sacrifices which war always entail. To Mrs Atkins we extend our sympathy in the loss of her two gallant sons.

photo: Rodney Gibson

photo: Rodney Gibson

Albert Atkins is buried in Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun grave 3:M:34

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details