LOVEDAY, Albert Nathan

No.19963, Private, Albert Nathan LOVEDAY
Aged 20

9th Battalion, Essex Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Friday, 30th November 1917

Albert Nathan LOVEDAY was born at 140 Burton End, Haverhill on 10th June 1897 [Risbridge Q3-1897 4A:762], baptised in St Mary's Haverhill on 12th July 1897, son of Henry Charles and Lily LOVEDAY (née NUNN).
There are reports that his mother was Lily MARSH,which could make him nephew of Percy MARSH, but no such marriage registration has been found

1901 census...Aged 3, he was at 24 Mill Road, Haverhill with his father Henry Charles LOVEDAY [23] milkman and his mother Lillie [22]. All were born in Haverhill. At the time of Albert's birth, his father was a rope maker.

1911 census...Aged 13, he was at 68 Mill Road, Haverhill with his parents (father now a labourer and recorded as born in Kedington); his brother Herbert [8]; sisters Ethel [4] and Edna [1]. The new siblings also born in Haverhill. There had been 5 children but one had died.

On his "Soldier's personal effects" entry legatee father Lance Sgt Henry is crossed out at the request of his father and replaced by mother Lily

He enlisted in Haverhill. The war diary for 30th November 1917:-
"About 7 am a heavy barrage was put down by the enemy on all the trenches of the 35th Inf Bde, gas shells being freely used.
About 7:30 am men of both flank regiments were seen coming towards us down BLEAK TRENCH and from the HINDENBURG FRONT LINE and the barrage lifted clear of us. Boches were seen in large numbers coming over on our left and right flanks. These were heavily fired at by "B" and "C" Coys
A platoon of "A" Coy was sent to our left flank in response to an urgent appeal for assistance from the Norfolk Regt.
Shortly after this HQ of the 5th R Berks Regt arrived in our lines and reported the enemy had driven them back. Large numbers of the enemy were seen making for GONNELIEU on our right Messages gradually filtered in from various sources that VILLERS GUISLANS, GONNELIEU and finally GOUZEAUCOURT were all in the hands of the enemy. This then put them nearly a mile to our right rear.
All this time artillery support was entirely lacking and communications completely lost with everyone. The Bn was holding the line perfectly in its own sector, but it was seen that large numbers had got round in rear of "B" Coy on the left flank. This then left the Bn in the undesirable position of having large forces of the enemy right past it on either flank and at about 11:30 am it was decided to withdraw the Bn and the remnants of the 5th R Berks Reg down the old German front line and form a flank between LA VACQUERIE and VILLERS PLOUICH, so an order was sent to Coys to do this. Fine rearguard work was done by all Coys as they withdrew; the Bosche by this time pressing on hard notably by CAPT CAPPER who,hanging on till the very last, was wounded and captured.
About 2 pm the Bn reached LA VACQUERIE after considerable shelling as it went,and a stand was made in the trenches round the village while OC R Berks Reg went to try and discover some Brigade to give us orders or support. About 4:30pm he returned with orders from 36th Inf Bde that we were to occupy the old British front and support lines and attach ourselves to the 61st Inf Bde of of the 20th Div. and were then used as a support Bn.
All ranks were by this time completely exhausted having been ten days holding a captured position and having had no food or water since the previous evening. At 6 pm "D" Coy were sent off to carry tools to the Shropshire L.I.and a party of "C" Coy to carry rations. "B" Coy were ordered forward to FOSTER LANE where they got touch with the 12th KR Rifles. "A" Coy then occupied our old front line to the left of "B", and "D" Coy returned to the support line in rear of "A" Coy and "C" Coy was kept in Reserve.
The night passed quietly"

CWGC figures, for the 9th battalion alone, are 22, only one with a known grave. The Essex Regiment as a whole lost 92 killed. Albert must have been seen to fall wounded and his body never recovered as he is named on a memorial, or his grave may have been lost in later fighting.

Albert Loveday is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval, panels 7 and 8

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

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