On 30th December 1915, the 9th Battalion were once more back in the front line trenches in the village of St. Jean.
recovering from their heavy casualties of the previous two weeks, a draft had a arrived after Christmas to bring the Battalion up to strength. After spending a relatively quiet Christmas in the town of Poperinghe or "Pop" as the soldiers called it, they were back in the line on the 27th. After a 'relatively quiet' day on the 30th, the Battalion were once more relived. Back in Camp, the Adjutant filled in the War Diary noting "Relief completed without casualties at 8.30pm. Casualties O.R. Killed 1, wounded 2." The one other rank killed that day was Private Last.
15058, Pte Albert Victor Last came from a military family. His father, William, had served with the Welsh Regiment and Albert was born into an Army family in Cardiff in 1897. After his military service, Alberts father returned to his home village of Burgh near Woodbridge and took over the running of the village post office.
When war was declared, Albert enlisted aged just 17. After training at Shoreham near Brighton, he went with the Battalion to France at the end of August 1915. He had only turned 18 some months before.
A victim most probably to artillery fire that day, Albert was buried in the "White House" cemetery at the south west corner of the village, behind the British lines. The photograph above from a local newspaper, reported that Albert was a Signaller in 'D' Company when he died, yet the Commonwealth War Graves commission listings, record him as serving in 'B' Company. Both Company's were in the front line that day. Perhaps we shall never know.
With thanks to the Suffolk Branch WFA Monthly newsletter for the above.
Welcome to our online 'blog' charting the history of the many Battalions of the Suffolk Regiment and the part they played in the Great War.
Starting back in March 2014, we have recorded the events of 100 years ago on the centenary of their happening.
Keep checking back to see how the Great War is progressing for the men of the Suffolk Regiment.