Albert Edward Cole
Date of birth: 1892
Date of death: 5.8.1916
Regiment: King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Family information: Married to Ann Hardy nee Lockwood
Service number: 1225
Shortly after war was declared on 4th August 1914, Lord Kitchener called for 100,000 volunteers for the New Army. Albert Edward Cole was one of these volunteers, joining the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
After completing their training on Salisbury Plain, the 7th KOYLI, attached to 61st Infantry Brigade, 20th (Light) Division, moved to France on 22nd July 1915. Records show that Private Albert Edward Cole followed two weeks later, landing at Boulogne on 7th August 1915.
On arrival in France, the 7th KOYLI, with the 61st Brigade, marched to the Armentieres area, where they received instruction in trench warfare. In September 1915, the 7th KOYLI went into the line in the Laventie sector, three miles north of Neuve Chapelle. The Battle of Loos started on 25th September, but the 7th KOYLI only played a small part in the action.
In February 1916, the 7th KOYLI, in Brigade, was deployed in the northern part of the Ypres Salient. This was a particularly active area and the battalion sustained a number of casualties. In May 1916, the 7th KOYLI was withdrawn to Calais, for rest and recuperation, but were suddenly recalled to man the trenches in the centre of the Ypres Salient.
The Battle of the Somme began on 1st July 1916, but the 7th KOYLI did not move from the Ypres sector, until 25th July, when they began their move south. On 28th July they arrived at Mailly-Maillet and began tours in the front line, within the Redan sector.
On the morning of 3rd August, the 7th KOYLI moved into the front line. The trenches were found to be in a bad state and contained a large number of dead. At this time the enemy was quiet and the battalion’s first task was to clear the trenches. On 5th August, the Battalion’s trench mortars registered on the German lines, provoking heavy retaliation from the enemy. One salvo scored a direct hit on a deep dug-out, killing 2Lt. Rowland and one man, and severely injuring several others.
Private Albert Edward Cole, of the 7th Battalion, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry was killed in action on 5th August 1916. He was buried in the Sucrerie Military Cemetery, at Colincamps, a village 16 km. north of Albert, in France. The cemetery was originally called the 10th Brigade Cemetery and, until the German retreat in 1917, was about 1.6 km from the front line. The cemetery now contains 1104 casualties from First World War, of which 219 are unidentified.
Albert Edward Cole was born in 1892, the son of Walter and Mary Jane Cole, of Wells in the County of Somerset. At this time, his father was employed as a signalman on the railway. Albert Edward came to Yorkshire at an early age; in 1901 he was living with his relations, Charles and Elizabeth Abbot, at Transvaal Terrace, Sharlston. On leaving school, Albert Edward Cole obtained work at the local colliery and continued to live in Sharlston. In the 1911 census, he is recorded at the home of his married sister, Elizabeth Mary Jane Abbot, at 5 Transvaal Terrace, Sharlston.
On 25th January 1913, Albert Edward Cole married Ann Hardy Lockwood, of Newton Buildings, Outwood. The marriage was at St Mary Magdalene Church, Outwood and witnessed by Willie Gollick and Lydia Lockwood. At this time Albert Edward gave his home address as 19 Hatfield Row, Outwood.