Albert Sumner



Woodhall Spa                           




Kirkby on Bain






Miscellaneous Memorials


Number:27306                          Unit: 1st Kings Own
                                             Royal Lancaster Regiment
Rank: Private                              Commemorated:
                                             Theipval Memorial France


The son of George and S. Anne Sumner, Thorpe Tilney Dales, Timberland, Albert was just 23 years of age when he died.  Born in Woodhall Spa, prior to the war Albert was in the employ of R.Swinn & Son, general carters, for some time.  Albert had only enlisted a few months before he died.


Albert enlisted into the 1st Battalion Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.  It was stationed at Dover when war broke out and was mobilised on the 4th August 1914.  The battalion was rapidly made up to full strength with troops from the depot in Lancaster and from reservists called back to the colours.  They left for France on the 22nd August as part of the British Expeditionary Force.  They joined the 12th Infantry Brigade of the 4th Division, and served throughout the war on the Western Front.

By October 1916, the battle of the Somme had been in progress some months and would soon draw to a close with the loss of many.  The 20th October finds Albertís battalion at rest in the Bernafay Wood area.  They would not stay long, for on the 22nd, the battalion moved to the front line trenches in readiness for an attack the next day.  The original hour for the assault was 11.30am on the 23rd but, owing to heavy fog, this was postponed until 2.30pm in the afternoon.  At zero hour, the artillery put down the usual creeping barrage; C & D Company went forward followed, at zero hour plus 10, by A & B Companies.  C & D reached the enemy trench, 3 waves passing over and reaching the ridge beyond.  They were then subjected to heavy machine gun and rifle fire from their right flank.  The battalion on the right had not enjoyed similar success.  C & D were forced to fall back into the enemy trenches just captured.  As soon as A & B had left their trenches, they too became the subject of the German machine guns, suffering many casualties.  They did not reach C & D.  A feeble German counter attack was successfully driven off and the battalion managed to hold until relieved by the Liverpool Regiment the next day.  The strength of the battalion prior to this attack was 11 Officers and 436 other ranks.  It suffered casualties of 26 killed (of which Albert was one), 118 wounded and 43 missing.

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