Unit: 5th Lincolnshire Regt
Commemorated: Loos British Cemetery, France
Previous to joining the Army, the late Private Albert Toyne worked for Mr. J. Coupland of Tattershall Thorpe. He enlisted in March 1916 and after training for 3 months went to France where he had been for 12 months. He was 26 years of age.
A local newspaper recorded Albert’ death with the following report:
“News has been received by Mrs. F. Toyne Kirkby-on-Bain (late of Tattershall Thorpe) that her son Private Albert Toyne Lincolnshire Regiment was killed in action on June 20th.”
Writing to the deceased’s mother, Sgt. Goldthorpe said:
“It is with deep regret I write to inform you that your son was killed on June 20th. We were out wiring in front of a front line trench when Albert was hit by a bullet in the lower part of the body. He was killed instantaneously. Your son was a good soldier and ever ready to do his duty. He was highly respected and will be greatly missed in the Platoon. Albert is buried just behind the firing line and a cross has been erected over his grave”.
Under the Army reforms, introduced by the Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane, of 1907, the existing Yeomanry and Volunteer forces were to be combined under a new organisation to be known as the Territorial Force. In 1908 the 3 existing volunteer battalions of the Lincolnshire Rifle Volunteers, were re-organised to form the Lincoln’s 4th and 5th Battalions. On the outbreak of war in August 1914, the territorial force was immediately mobilised and, as part of the 46th Division, the 4th battalion went overseas. On the 1st March 1915, both the 4th and 5th Lincolns disembarked at Havre; thus the 46th Division gained the distinction of becoming the first territorial division to arrive in France. Between the 9th and 26th March the 4th and 5th Lincolns proceeded by stages to the front line, arriving at Ploegstreert for instruction in trench duties. The 5th Lincolns suffered its first casualty on the 29th March – a corporal being killed.
The Attacks towards Lens: 3rd June – 26th August 1917.
Although these operations were of a minor character, they cannot on that account be dismissed as unimportant in the History of the 4th and 5th Battalions. Both were engaged with the enemy and saw stiff fighting. On the 15th June the 5th Lincolns were informed they were to attack the enemy “as a prelude to a larger operation”. During the evening of the 18th, the battalion moved upto the front line, relieving the 1/5th Leicesters at Cite de Riaumont. The next morning they were equipped for the attack and moved to their assembly positions. “A” company (2 officers and 89 other ranks) and “B” company (2 officers and 75 other ranks) were to assault the enemy trenches: “C” company (1 officer and 80 other ranks) was detailed to wire the position when captured with “D” company (2 officers and 80 other ranks) for carrying duties. At 2.30pm the barrage fell and the 2 assaulting companies advanced to the attack in two waves. Six minutes later the enemy barrage fell, but did not interfere with the advance. Without difficulty the right company got into the left trench, where stiff fighting ensued and some 30 prisoners were taken. The left company was met by violent machine-gun and rifle fire. A temporary check took place, but soon the advance was resumed. The battalion won its objective but was subjected to three counter attacks, the first being launched at 4.45pm, the second at 7.00pm and the final one at 10.00pm. All were broken up by artillery. Casualties for the battalion during this action were 12 other ranks killed; 2 officers and 55 other ranks wounded; 4 other ranks dying of wounds received and one missing. The letter written to Albert’s mother records Albert as having received his wounds whilst carrying out normal daily routine.