No.12640, Private, Albert Edward ROYAL
7th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment
Albert Edward Royal was born in Brandon in 1892 (Thetford Q1-1892 4B:359) son of William and Rosina ROYAL(née WOOLSEY).
He is difficult to find in a census since he is entered there as William or "W". There seems to be no logical reason why. His birth registration is for Albert Edward.
1901 census...Aged 8, W (all are recorded with just initial) was at Lode Street, Brandon with his father W ROYAL  stationary engine driver; R.; sisters E  L  and M . All were born in Brandon.
In the 1891 census there was Olive M Royal WOOLSEY  with them. She has not been found later either in census or deaths register as ROYAL or WOOLSEY.
1911 census...Aged 19, single, a labourer in saw mill, he was at Porter's Row, Thetford Road, Brandon with his parents William and Rose, sisters Ethel , Lily  and Milly 
In the Army's living family form on 3rd December 1919 his mother entered parents at Thetford Road, Brandon with 3 sisters Ethel, Lily and Mildred but no ages are entered.
click here to go to the Brandon at War website for more information
He attested in Brandon on 27th August 1914, reported to depot in Norwich on 28th, posted to 7th battalion, Norfolk Regiment on 30th.
He gave his age as 22 years 158 days, born and living in Brandon. He was 5 feet 5.5 inches (166.4 cm)tall, weighed 130 lbs (59.2 kg)
chest 32" to 34" (81.3 to 86.4 cm). Next
of kin his parents William and Rose at 117 Porters Row, Thetford Road, Brandon.
He was posted to the BEF on 30th May 1915, and reported missing on 13th October 1915, later presumed dead. His father enquired after him on 13th October and again in a letter to the Army (only half available) on November 4th 1915 his father, was enquiring in anything was known of his son whose address he gave as 13 Platoon, "D" Coy., 35th Brigade, 12th Division, B.E.F. His father was informed of his death on 5th November 1915.
The 7th Norfolks took over the line from the Coldstream Guards in front of the quarries at St.Elie on 12th October.
The battalion was told off to attack on 13th October, from a line roughly semi circular, the left being on St. Elie Avenue. The attack was to be covered by a smoke screen. A heavy barrage was laid down beginning at noon and was most intensive by 1:45. By some error the smoke screen was topped at 1:40 and when the attack was launched at 2 pm the Germans could clearly be seen manning their trench. The battalion soon suffered from enfilading machine gun fire which the trench mortars were unable to knock out. One platoon was almost annihilated as it tried to advance. On the left 50 men did take 200 yards of enemy tench and held in until supplies of bombs ran out. Reinforcements could not get up due to being mown down in the first 20 yards by machine guns.
The casualties in this, the battalions first action, was 5 officers killed, six wounded, other ranks 66 killed, 196 wounded and 160 missing.
CWGC figures are 162 all ranks killed, only 6 have identified graves.
Walter TALBOT was killed in the same action see here
photo: Roy Beardsworth
photo: Roy Beardsworth
click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details