On The Roll of Honour
Albert was born in the 2nd Quarter of 1888 in Badwell Ash (Stow 4A-743). His father, Harry, was 24, an agricultural labourer whilst his mother Martha Wilding (née Smith) was 21.
In the 1891 Census Albert was aged 3 and living in The Street, Badwell St with his father Harry, now aged 27, his mother Martha, aged 25, brothers Harry, aged 5 and Walter, aged 1. It states that his father was an Agricultural Labourer who had been born in Halstead but lived in Badwell Ash in the birth village of his wife.
In 1894, 1895 and 1898 Albert’s father Harry was fined for not making Albert and his brother Harry attend school regularly enough.
In 1900 his father was imprisoned for 7 days for non-payment of the maintenance for Albert’s place at the Essex Industrial School, Chelmsford. How long he had been at the school is not clear although, based on the above date, it would not have been before 1898 when his father was simply fined for non-attendance.
In the 1901 Census, Albert, now aged 12, was at the Essex Industrial School in Chelmsford which catered for boys aged 9-15. Curiously there was just one girl at the school. Conditions were very harsh at these schools and by any standards the removal of Albert from his home to such a school seems very harsh. In 1906, one boy complained that they were made to work and be taught for 80 hours per week! Each day was divided up with the morning in class and the afternoon being spent on tailoring, shoemaking or, for the younger boys, paper bag making. Such establishments were the forerunner of Approved Schools which came into existence in 1933.
Military and War: In the 1911 Census Albert, now aged 22, had already enlisted as a Private in the 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment. From his Service Attestation we know that by this time, he was in Egypt as part of an Occupying Force which had been stationed there since the Anglo- Egyptian war of 1882. In his Army Attestation it is stated that he was in Malta between the 15th September 1909 and 24th January 1911; in Egypt from 24th January 1911 to 30th September 1912 and in India from 1st October 2012 to 21st October 1919. He was transferred as a Private, Regimental No. 3988 to the 21st Lancers on 9th December 1919. Albert was awarded the 1914/15 Star, War and Victory Medals.
Albert’s younger brothers, Arthur Frederick and Walter fought in WW1. Albert was a Private in the 7th Battalion Suffolk Regiment and was Killed in Action on Wednesday, 27th March 1918 aged 26 and is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, France, panel 25. Walter was a Private in the Northumberland Fusiliers, 25th Battalion (2nd Tyneside Irish), formerly 25082, West Yorks Regiment and was also Killed in Action on Friday, 12th October 1917. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium, panel 19-23 and 162.
Post War: Albert married Emma May Coe in the 2nd Quarter of 1920 (Stow 4A-2371). Emma had been born in the 2nd Quarter of 1894 (Thingoe 4A-742) so Albert was 32 and Emma was 26 when they married. We know that they had one child, Joan E. M. Wilding, who was born 4th Quarter of 1921(Stow 4A-1663). Whether they had any subsequent children hasn’t been established. Unfortunately, nothing can be found about his subsequent life. He died in Hunston, aged 37 in 1925.