WOOLLARD, Albert Reginald

No.R/16893, Rifleman, Albert Reginald WOOLLARD
Aged 22

10th Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps
Killed in Action on Friday, 10th August 1917

Albert Reginald Woollard was born in 1896 (Mildenhall Q1-1896 4A:795) son of James and Sarah WOOLLARD (née TURNER). 1893

1901 census...Aged 5, he was at West Street, Mildenhall with hs father James WOOLLARD [45] horse keeper; mother Sarah [43]; brother Herbert [22] a bricklayer, and sister Annie [15]. There were two other sisters, June [1879] and sister Jane [1880]

1911 census...Aged 15, an errand boy, he was at West Street, Mildenhall with his widowed mother and brother Herbert (bricklayer). His mother had borne 6 children but Jane had died.

His brother Herbert, served in the Middlsex Regt and Labour Corps, medical grade B3 which was fit only for sedentary work, married Lucretia Alice LEEDER in Swanton Morley on 24th December 1918.

Enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds on 15th November 1915. He gave his address as West Street, Mildenhall, occupation, gardener. 5 feet 7 inches (170.2 cm) tall, weighing 124 lbs (56.4 kg) and chest 36" to 38.5" (91.4 to 97.8 cm) he gave his age as 19 years 10 months. Next of kin, his mother Sarah. At Winchester on 19th November he was assigned to the 11th Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps and then placed on Reserves.
Mobilisation in January 1916 was delayed by his stay in Ravenscroft hospital, Seaford with German measles (14 -24 January 1916. He embarked for the BEF on 6th April 1916 and on 7th at Depot in Etaples was posted to the 10th Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps, joining them in the field on 24th.
On 8th January 1917 he was admitted to 53 Field Ambulance, diagnosed I.C.T. ('inflamed connective tissue' ) of trivial nature, but none the less transferred to 6 General Hospital, Rouen on 12th. ON 24th February he went from Rouen to Base depot, Le Havre and rejoined his unit on 15th March. Quite a spell away when someone had recorded his injury as "trivial".
He was killed in action on 10th August 1917. In November a Miss Duffy wrote to the Army to try and find out where he was since she had heard he was dead. The letter detailing his personal; effects to his mother is almost completely washed out except for "Treasury note case". His mother was actually still trying in March 1918 to find out about his personal effects.
On the living family form his mother completed on 18th August 1919 his living family then were his mother at Foundary Place, West Street, Mildenhall; brother Herbert at West Street, Mildenhall, sister June[40] at Haddon House, Bury Road, Newmarket and sister Annie Elizabeth KING [33] at West Street, Mildenhall.

Battalion War Diary :-
"9th Aug - Afternoon spent in making plans for relieving the 11th RB [Rifle Brigade] the following evening and attacking the STEENBEEK, with 2 Coys, "A" right and "C" left after relief and gaining a footing on the other side of the stream.
10th Aug - Battalion spent the day on the CANAL BANK preparing for the attack the next morning and at 9 pm moved up to relieve the 11th RB. Battalion HQ at STRAX FARM. The Battalion was holding the Divisional Front with two Coys and 2 Coys in support."

CWGC records 42 killed, only 6 with identified graves.

The Bury Free Press of 24th November 1917 reported:-

The official news has recently been received confirming the death of Rifleman A.R.Woollard of B Company, 10th Batt., King's Royal; Rifle Corps, who was killed in action on 11th August. The deceased soldier, who was 21 years of age, was a son of Mrs. James Woollard, of Foundry Place, Mildenhall. He joined the K.R.R. in November 1915. He had been in France about 16 months when the sad occurrence which cost him his life took place..........The following is a letter received from his platoon commander:-
"France 24/8/17. Dear Mrs. Woollard,- It is with infinite regret that I have the unpleasant duty of informing you of your son's death. He was killed by a shell on the 11th August. It will be, I think,a small source of consolation for you to know that he died instantly. He was a fine fellow,one whom I greatly miss. I, as his platoon commander, have known him for the past four months, and he was always willing, cheerful and brave. He will be sadly missed by us all.He fell like so many other fellows during this advance,fighting for the great cause-truly a noble death. On behalf of the men in my platoon and myself I tender our heartfelt sympathy on your sad bereavement. I remains yours sincerely H.L.Hall, 2nd platoon, B Co., 10th K.R.R., B.E.F.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Albert Reginald Woollard is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres panels 51 and 53

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