|Additional Information:||Husband of Emily Theaker, of 22, Alma St., Sheffield.|
There are a couple of things to note here.
1) His number is prefixed by the number 3 and the remaining number is a 4 digits, this mean without doubt that he was a member of the pre war Territorial Force Reserve (TF) which was much the same as the Territorial Army is today. That is to say he would have attended a "Drill Night" once or twice a week and been subject to attend a weeks camp once a year. For this he would have a received a reserve payment. As the pre war establishment of the KOYLI was only two regular Battalions and one reserve we know that the reserve Battalion he belonged to was the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion which had its pre war Headquarters based at Pontefract but would have had detachments in the surrounding towns and cities. In time of war the role of the reserve Battalion was to feed reinforcements into the two main full time Battalions.
2) The date of his death (DOW) is recorded as 20th April but the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) shows it as 21st April. What I believe has happened here (and there other examples from other men's records) is that he was wounded on the 20th April and taken to a Field Hospital or Casualty Clearing Station and later that day or night died of those wounds thus having the date of death correct to 20th April. Information then did not filter back to the Battalion until the next day (21st April) and the Battalion then removed his name from the unit strength and recorded that (21st) as the date of death.
The 3rd (Reserve) Battalion did not leave England and from the Headquarter base in Pontefract they moved to Hull in October 1914. In April 1916 they moved to Withernsea and in October 1916 they moved to Hendon where they stayed until June 1918 when they moved to Pocklington and in August 1918 they moved for the last time to Patrington as part of the Humber Garrison.
The 2nd Battalion at the outbreak of war were stationed in Dublin as part of 13th Brigade, 5th Division. On the 15th/16th August 1914 they moved straight from Dublin and landed at Le Havre. On the 28th December 1915 the Battalion changed formations and became part of 97th Brigade, 32nd Division and they remained in that formation until the end of the war being located on the 11 November 1918 in rest camp at Haut Lieu which is South West of Avesnes. The 2nd Battalion served the whole war in France and Flanders.
During the War the Kings Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry) gained a total of 59 Battle Honours, 8 members of the Regiment won the Victoria Cross and the total causalities for the Regiment between August 1914 and November 1918 was 9,450 men killed.
From a pre war establishment of 2 regular Battalions and 1 reserve by the end of the war the KOYLI had formed a total of 24 Battalions for war service.
At the time of Albert's death the 2nd Battalion was in the following formation, 2nd Army, II Corps, 5th Division, 13th Brigade. He was wounded on the 20th April 1915 during the Battalions attack on and as part of the Capture of Hill 60 (which lasted from 17th-22nd April 1915), he died later that day.
There is no way at the moment to show when Albert was transferred from the reserves to the 2nd Battalion, however as a best guess I would say he would have volunteered to be transferred and would have joined the 2nd Battalion in France sometime perhaps around late December 1914 early January 1915.
There is a museum:
Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Museum, Chequer Road, Doncaster DN1 2AE
Peter understands they hold copies of war diaries, printed books and lists of all men killed. You should contact them, or visit and get a copy of the war diary for the 2nd Battalions action between 17th -22nd April 1915 and the attacks and defence of Hill 60. It will not mention Albert by name, soldiers rarely got a mention by name, but it will give you a good detail of what was going on during those 5 days. Also the museum may (don't get your hopes up) be able to tell you when Albert was transferred from the 3rd Battalion to the 2nd. They may even hold papers/documents about the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion during peace time, training days, camps, football matches, sports days that sort of thing. You may find photos, you may find Albert by name.
Below is a scan of the cap badge do not pay any attention to number underneath its only a reference number from the badges book that we use.
|Cemetery:||POPERINGE OLD MILITARY CEMETERY, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium|
|II. M. 47.
|Location:||Poperinge Old Military Cemetery is located
10.5 Km west of Ieper town centre, in the town of Poperinge itself. From
Ieper Poperinge is reached via N308. From Ieper town centre the
Poperingseweg (N308), is reached via Elverdingsestraat then directly
over two small roundabouts in the J.Capronstraat. The Poperingseweg is a
continuation of the J.Capronstraat and begins after a prominent railway
level crossing. On reaching the town of Poperinge the left hand turning
from the N308 leads onto the R33 Poperinge ring road. 1 Km along the N33
lies the right hand turning onto Deken De Bolan. The cemetery is located
200 metres from the ring road level with the junction with Polenlaan, on
the right hand side of the road.
|Historical Information:||The town was in British occupation during practically the whole of the War. It was important as being, though sometimes bombed or bombarded at long range, the nearest place to Ypres which was both considerable in size and reasonably safe. It was at first a Casualty Clearing Station centre, but in 1916 these units were moved further back and Field Ambulances took their place. Poperinge Old Military Cemetey was begun in October, 1914, and closed to British burials in May, 1915, but one man of the Chinese Labour Corps was buried in Plot II, Row O, in May, 1919. The graves of about 800 French and Belgian soldiers and nearly 500 civilians were removed after the Armistice; the civilians died, for the most part, in an epidemic of typhoid at the end of 1914, and were buried from an emergency hospital in the neighbouring Chateau (now destroyed). There are now over 400, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over 20 are unidentified and special memorials are erected to five soldiers from the United Kingdom and two from Canada, known or believed to be buried among them. The cemetery covers an area of 1,851 square metres and is enclosed by a red brick wall.|
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