ARBON, Albert George

No. 14805, Corporal, Albert George ARBON
Aged 25

8th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Wednesday, 19th July 1916

Albert George Arbon was born in 1891 in Flempton (Thingoe Q3-1891 4A:730), baptised St Catherine's, Flempton on 2nd August 1891, son of George and Elizabeth ARBON (née DURRANT).

1901 census...Aged 9, he was at Flempton Street withhis father George ARBON [57] domestic gardener born Culford; his mother Elizabeth [49] born Risby; sisters Sarah [14] and Maud [8]; brothers Lionel [13] and James [11]. Al the children were born in Flempton.

1911 census...Aged 19, a golf greenkeeper he was at Flempton Green with his parents and brother James S (golf greenkeeper)

The pension card (1919) has his mother at Flempton Street, nr Bury St Edmunds.

He enlisted in Norwich.
He was in "B" Company. There is a wealth of information about that day in the "History of the Norfolk Regiment" by F Loraine Petre. In summary:- The battalion were in a valley NE of Carnoy, ready to attack Delville Wood. At 05:30 "A" and "B" Coys moved off but just before reaching the wood machine gun fire forced "B" to move to right of "A" not left as planned. This delayed the planned attack to 07:15 but by 0900 "B" Coy were halfway through the wood from Campbell Street to King Street but were held up by machine gun fire. "B" again pushed up at 11:30 and reached Rotten Row. Then the battalion, from around 13:00, made strong points on East, S East and south edges of the wood. The afternoon was fairly quiet in the wood, the Germans shelling Longueval heavily.
The casualties were 11 officers (3 killed) and 282 other ranks (78 killed or died of wounds, 174 wounded and 30 missing).

The Bury Free Press of 15th August 1916 reported:-

Mrs. Arbon of Flempton has recently received the sad notice of death in action of her son, Corpl.A.Arbon of thwe 8th Batt. Norfolk Regt., during an attack on - -Wood, in which the Norfolks and Suffolks took a prominent part. An officer of the deceased's company, in a letter to his mother, describes his death as follows:
"B.E.F. France - August 1st - Dear Mrs. Arbon, it is with the deepest regret that I write to tell you of the death of your son, 14805 Corpl.A.Arbon of my Company. He fell in action during an attack on a wood on July 20th, while doing his duty in the most gallant manner. He is a great loss to me and to his company, and I had known him practically since he first joined this battalion. He always did his duty cheerfully and well, and was always very popular with officer, NCO's and men.He was an excellent N.C.O., and had he lived I am sure he would have become one of the best N.C.O's in the battalion. He died a true soldier's death, while leading his men under fire in trying conditions. You have my sincere sympathy in your great loss, and if there is any information I can obtain for you I shall be pleased to do anything in my power..I am yours truly F.J.Morgan Capt., OC "B" Co., 8th Norfolks".

The late Corpl/Arbon joined the Army soon after the outbreak of war, proceeding to France on July 25th 1915. Deceased, while on active service, proved his worth as a soldier, his gallantry on several occasions receiving well merited recognition. In one instance he was granted special leave for volunteering, with a party of men, to dig out a number of comrades who had been buried by shell explosion.He was also promoted to the rank of Corporal, which he held up to the time of his death, for his tactful thought on the field,in taking charge of about 50 men while the sergeant was attending to other urgent duties.
Before enlisting the deceased was employed on Thetford Golf Links, where he made many friends, who will extend their deepest sympathy to the bereaved relatives of so gallant a soldier.

Albert Arbon is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial, pier/face 1C/1D

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