WILLIS, Albert W

No. 5143, Private, Albert W WILLIS
Aged 27

6th Battalion, Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians)
formerly 34523, Suffolk Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Monday, 11th June 1917

Albert W WILLIS was born at 42 Withersfield Road, Haverhill on 29th June 1889 (Risbridge Q3-1889 4A:628), baptised in St Mary's Haverhill on 3rd April 1890, son of Albert and Annie WILLIS (née POULSON)

1891 census...Aged 1, he was at 42 Withersfield Road, Haverhill with his father Albert WILLIS [21] bootmaker born Haverhill and his mother Annie [21] hair weaver, born Lavenham

1901 census...Aged 11, he was at 37 Lords Croft Lane, Haverhil with his parents; brothers Hewitt [9], Cyril [7] and Clifford [4months]; sister Ivy [5]. All the children were born in Haverhill.

1911 census...Aged 21 , clerk in clothing factory, he was still at 37 Lords Croft Lane with his parents; brothers Cyril (boot repairer) and Clifford; sister Ivy (dressmaker).

He married Ethel BACKLER [11-4-1880] in 1913 and lived at 18 Eden Road, Haverhill.

He enlisted in Sudbury. He died at No 21 Stationary Hospital, Salonika
Following the outbreak of war Albert joined the Army and was posted to an Irish regiment, the 6th Battalion, Leinster Regiment, as Private No. 5143.
It seems that Albert joined them when the unit was already at Salonika, Greece, a forgotten front of the First World War. The British and French had landed forces on the north east coast of Greece in September 1915 in an attempt to support their ally, Serbia against Germany's ally, Bulgaria. However, they were unable to make progress and the campaign settled into a stalemate of trench warfare, made more arduous by extremes of temperature and outbreaks of malaria.
Albert died of wounds on 11th June 1917, just a few weeks short of his 28th birthday and three months before his battalion was moved to Egypt.

photo:Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Albert Willis is buried in Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery, grave 1066

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

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