TILLETT, Albert Victor

No.43248, Private, Albert Victor TILLETT
Aged 20

7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
formerly 1323, Suffolk Cyclist Battalion
Killed in Action on Thursday, 12th October 1916

Albert Victor Tillett was born in Hengrave (Thingoe Q3-1896 4A:782), son of Robert and Clara Pask TILLETT (née HALLS).

1901 census...Aged 4, he was at Village Street, Hengrave with his father Robert TILLETT [47] bricklayer born Bardwell; his mother Clara [40] born Hengrave; brothers Clement [13] errand boy on farm, born West Stow and Leonard [10] born Flempton; sisters Hilda [7] born Flempton and Ada [1] born Hengrave.

1911 census...Aged 14, a golf labourer, he was in Hengrave with his parents. His mother's place of birth now recorded as Hawstead.

He enlisted in Culford.
The 7th Suffolk were in the front line,prepared to attack BAYONET TRENCH and LUISENHOFF FARM, it was a quiet morning and by 5am the battalion was lying in shell holes in front, ready.
Major Henty went to forward HQ in GRASS STREET to get reports at 10am.
At 2 pm the attack started, the German barrage was very intense. The battalion advanced in four waves, each company with a platoon front. No definite report was made until 6 pm when the battalion was back in front line, having failed to reach its objective.
'B' and 'D' Coys had reached their objective but were driven back by superior numbers. 1st Essex on the right gained their objective but were unable to hold it, finally they managed keep a part of it. The Battalion withdrew to Reserve in FLERS TRENCH.

Lt Col Murphy, in his "History of the Suffolk Regiment" records that over 500 men became casualties, due in part to uncut wire and to an ineffective barrage. One officer had been buried twice before zero hour and all the officers that went over the top were casualties. CWGC puts the dead at 104.

The Bury Free Press of 18th November 1916 reported:-

Mr. and Mrs. R.Tillett, of Hengrave, received an official notification on Nov.3 to the effect that their son,Prvt Albert Tillett, 43248, 7th Batt.,Suffolk Regt., was reported missing on the 12th of October. Prior to going out to France he belonged to the 1/6th Cyclist Suffolk Regt., and was stationed some time at Saxmundham. The parents would be grateful to any comrade or friend who can give them any information concerning him. The following letter has been received from Capt.Lake:- 1/4th Suffolk Regt..B.E.F.
"Dear Mrs. Tillett - I am very sorry to hear that your son, Prvt Tillett, is missing, believed killed. I sincerely hope he is alright after all,but I am afraid it sounds bad. If he is killed, I offer you my sincere sympathy. He served under me the whole time he was in England,and I was very sorry I could not command them when they all went out. I always found him such a good reliable fellow,and he was one of a body of men I was proud to command. I hope you will have better news, but if not, you must fell proud that he has done all that a man can do in giving his life for his country..Yours Truly, E.L.D.Lake"

On 21st July 1917 the Bury Free Press reported

Mr. and Mrs Robert Tillett, of Hengrave, have now received official notification to the effect that their son, Prvt A.V.Tillett 43248, 7th Suffolk Regiment was killed in action on October 12, 1916, previously reported as missing.....

Albert Tillett is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, pier/face 1C/2A

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