Rolls of Honour: Eccleshill, Park & St Luke’s; Loos Memorial
Regiment: Machine Gun Corps
Albert Waller was born in 1895 in Bradford the son of Robert and Maria, nee Brooks who had moved to the area from Norwich sometime before 1897.Robert died in 1904 and by 1911 Maria and her family were living at 879 Bolton Road. Her older children had obtained employment in professional occupations and Albert at 16 was working as a warehouse lad. When Albert enlisted he was living at 44 Institute Road and working for Messrs. Stavert, Zigomala and Co.He enlisted on the 22nd of October 1915 as Private 2844 in the Middlesex Regiment but then transferred to the 182nd Company
Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) as Private 28579. His unit joined the 61st Division in France on the 19th of June 1916. The first major action in which the Division was engaged turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. An attack was made on the 19th of July 1916 at Fromelles, a subsidiary action to the much larger battle taking place further south on the Somme. The Division suffered very heavy casualties for no significant gain and no enemy reserves were diverted from the Somme.
Such was the damage to the Division and its reputation that it was not used again other than for holding trench lines until 1917. The Shipley Times & Express reported: “Pte Albert Waller has been missing since July 19th. He was fighting with the 182nd Machine Gun Company and has been in France since June this year. “He was 21 years of age and was last seen in the German trenches. His mother resides at 44 Institute Road, Eccleshill and her son was employed at Stavert Zigomala and
Co. There are over 20 relatives with His Majesty’s forces.”Albert was in fact killed in action that day. He is remembered at the Loos Memorial known as Dud Corner Cemetery due to the large number of unexploded enemy shells found in the neighbourhood after the Armistice. This memorial commemorates men who have no known grave, who fell in the area from the River Lys to the old southern boundary of the First Army, east and west of Germany.Albert left his effects to his mother Maria who received £2.4.8d on the 17th of December 1917 and a War Gratuity of £3.0.0d on the 21st October 1919.
Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom many thanks