18432 Private Albert Victor Barlow, 3rd & 2nd Battalions, Bedfordshire Regiment
Born 30th September 1894 in Tring
Died 4th July 1959 in Watford
Albert Victor Barlow was born in Tring, the second son of Henry John Barlow and Eliza, née Bishop.
His older brother Ernest Percival Barlow had been born on 28th January 1893. His younger brother Lawrence Roland Barlow was born in 1896 but died aged 1 in 1898.
In the 1901 Census, Albert’s family lived at Dudswell, Northchurch. His father was a shepherd. However, Albert and his brother Ernest attended Little Gaddesden School from September 1902 and, between 1905 and 1909, their father was on the Electoral Register for Little Gaddesden, suggesting that the family then lived in the village. That would help to explain why Albert was later named on the Roll of Honour.
On 15th September 1902 Albert Barlow, Standard 1, and Ernest Barlow, Standard 3, were admitted to Little Gaddesden School. The following January, Albert is named among the children who had distinguished themselves in the Religious Knowledge examination which was part of the School’s Diocesan Inspection.
On 8th July 1903:
Dr Batterbury called at the School today and informed me that Albert Barlow (St. 3) is far from well, indeed in danger of Consumption. He advised that he attends ½ time for 3 months.
On 4th July 1907 a Log Book entry recorded that Albert had gone to work with a 4th Standard Certificate. The nature of the work is not recorded, but as he returned to school on October 14th, it was probably farm work. He and Arthur Whitman passed their Standard 5 Labour Certificate on June 8th 1908 and finally left school on 16th June that year. Arthur Maunders and Frederick Purton took the exam at the same time but did not pass.
In the 1911 Census, Albert is recorded as a 16 year old Farm Labourer living at home with his parents and brother at Norcott Court Farm, Northchurch. His father and his 18 year old brother Ernest were both Shepherds.
Little is known of Albert’s War Service. He is named on the Little Gaddesden Roll of Honour as serving in the 3rd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment but he was serving in the 2nd Battalion by Spring 1918 when it was involved in the Battle of St Quentin.
218432 Private Albert Barlow, A Company, 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment was captured unwounded on the Western Front at Etreillers on 22nd March 1918. On his Prisoner of War record, this is recorded as “Ettrevilliers”. His capture took place during the Battle of St Quentin, the first stage of the First Battle of the Somme 1918. William Johnson, also of the 2nd Battalion, was captured on the same day.
Battalion War Diary 21st March 1918 10
Enemy bombardment started at 4.45 a.m. The Battalion “Stood to” in Battle Zone between SAVY and ETREILLERS at 6 a.m. “A” and “C” Companies in Front. “B” Company in Counter Attack position, “D” Company and Battalion Hd.Qrs in STEVENS REDOUBT. Enemy broke through the Forward Zone and came in touch with “A” Company during the morning. A few Germans got into the right of “A” Coy’s position. “B” Company went up to reinforce “A” Company at Dusk but could not turn out the enemy, who had established themselves firmly on either side of the SAVY Road…
Battalion War Diary 22nd March 1918 10
Verlaines Early in the morning a few Germans worked into “C” Coys position, from a Sunken Road just in front of our wire. “A” and “C” Coys were heavily shelled all day and at about 2 p.m. the enemy attacked in large numbers. “C” Coys position was taken and some of our men taken prisoner. The remnants of “A” and “B” Coy hung on till surrounded by large numbers of enemy. They fought very well and only a few got back. By 4 p.m. the enemy could be seen advancing on either side of STEVENS REDOUBT. At 5 p.m. Orders were received to withdraw. The withdrawal was carried out at once, but there were a number of casualties as the withdrawal had to be made across open country and the enemy machine gun and shrapnel fire was very heavy…
A Prisoner in Germany 11
Albert’s Prisoner of War Record from 29th May 1918 shows that he was at then held at Giessen in Hesse, Germany. His date of birth is given as 1893 rather than 1894 but the remaining information recorded clearly fits Albert, whose next of kin was Mrs Barlow (his mother) at “Lambsey Cottage”, Little Gaddesden.
Albert’s release date is not known but he is listed on the War Office and Air Ministry Weekly Casualty List of 7th January 1919 as one of the released Prisoners of War in the Bedfordshire Regiment who arrived in England on 1st January 1919. In the Spring 1919 Electoral Register for Little Gaddesden, Albert is recorded as an Absent Naval/ Military Voter of Lamsey Cottages. His parents also lived in Lamsey Lane, suggesting that his father was working for George Stanbridge on Lamsey Farm and Church Farm, which were then farmed together. For his war service, Albert was awarded the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal.
Men who have answered their country’s call in defence of a “Scrap of Paper”
Albert Barlow is named on the Roll of Honour, which hangs in St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden and lists 119 men from Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Hudnall who served in the 1914 – 1918 War. He is recorded as 3rd Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment, almost certainly the battalion in which he first served. He is similarly shown on the Centenary Revision of the Roll.
Rolls of Honour photos: Jane Dickson, Michael Carver
Moving Away 4
By Spring 1921, Albert and his brother Ernest had moved away. They were living at 61 Nascot Street, Watford, where Ernest remained.
By 1922, Albert had moved again, to 41 Bennetts End Lane, Hemel Hempstead, where he lived with Frederick and Beatrice Ellen Carter and family. Their daughter Kathleen was to become Albert’s wife. He was registered to vote at that address until Spring 1926.
In 1925 (2nd Quarter) Albert Victor Barlow married Kathleen Ellen Carter. The marriage was registered in Hemel Hempstead. Albert and Kathleen had known each other since 1911 or earlier, when both families lived in Norcott Court properties.
Their first daughter, Irene Kathleen, was born in 1927 (2nd Quarter) and their second, Barbara Maud, on 5th February 1930. Irene’s birth was registered in Hemel Hempstead and Barbara’s in Watford.
From 1928, Albert’s family lived at 1 Comyne Road, Watford. In the 1939 Register, at that address, Albert was recorded as a Labourer working for the London, Midland & Scottish Railway. His wife was engaged in “Unpaid Domestic Duties” and his daughters were at school.
Albert Victor Barlow of 1 Comyne Road, Watford died on 4th July 1959, aged 64.
5. Little Gaddesden School Log Books 1887 – 1906 and 1906 – 1934
7. 1918-19 Absent Voters’ Lists Parliamentary County of Hertford, Hemel Hempstead Division, Little Gaddesden
12. Weekly Casualty List (War Office & Air Ministry) 07 January 1919.
Do you have any questions about the information recorded here? Or do you have any further information that you can share with us about those from Little Gaddesden who died or fought for their country? In either case, please contact Jane Dickson at email@example.com.
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Research, text and (unless otherwise credited) photos: Jane Dickson