HOLMES, Albert

No. 20001, Private, Albert HOLMES
Aged 35

2nd Battalion, Norfolk Regiment
previously # 3/9704 Suffolk Regiment
Died on Tuesday 6th August 1918

Born in Exning in Q1-1883 [Newmarket 3b:563] to Frederick and Sarah Ann HOLMES (née BOWLES) of Laceys Lane, Exning.

1891 census...Albert [8] was living at Laceys Lane, Exning with his father [34], a bricklayer born Newmarket; his mother Sarah A [35] born West Row, and his brothers Albert(Herbert?) [5] and George [4 months] and sisters Eliza [4] and Edith [3].All the children were born in Exning.

1901 census...Albert [18] now a bricklayers apprentice was at 7 Falmouth Street, Newmarket with his parents; brother Herbert (butchers assistant ); George; Arthur [11] born Exning and Henry [5] born West Row, and his sisters Eliza; Edith; Julia [6] born West Row and Sarah [3] born Mildenhall.

1911 census...Albert [28] a bricklayer was still at 7 Falmouth Street, Newmarket with his parents; brothers George; Arthur; and Harry (all porters) and sister Sarah Ann

On 13th April 1914 in Freckenham, he married Edith Emma HOW [17-10-1882]. Their daughter Beryl was born in Freckenham on 23rd April 1915.

The pension card had Edith at Mill House, Freckenham but then moving to 8 Falmouth Street, Newmarket.

His younger brother Harry died of his wounds in Malta in 1917.. see here

He enlisted in Newmarket. Originally in the Suffolk Regiment he was transferred to the Norfolk Regiment, but so far records have not been found to say when. From his medal card he served initially in France/Belgium, possibly that was with the Suffolks.
2nd Norfolks were in Iraq (then Mesopotamia), landing 15 November 1914. On 29 April 1916 the battalion was captured after being besieged at Kut-al-Amara. A great many died in Turkish captivity. Details and transport that had not been at Kut joined similar detachments of the 2nd Dorset and formed a composite battalion, named the Norsets. This was broken up on 21 July 1916, as the battalion had been reconstituted by the arrival of new drafts. The battalion remained in Mesopotamia. In 1918 they were part of the 37th Brigade of the 14th Indian Division. Most of these Indian Brigades had at least one British battalion.
The 2nd Norfolks were at Mirjana in August and fighting had ceased, but deaths through illness continued. Albert's death was the only one in the battalion that week. In this campaign, more Allied soldiers died of illness than were killed in action.

Albert 2nd left at his wedding to Edith

Albert with Edith and baby Beryl Irene

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Albert is buried in Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Iraq - grave:IV.D.6
and also on the Roll of Honour in St Mary's Church, Newmarket
and commemorated on the War Memorial in Newmarket

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