Private Albert Cartledge Fowkes
335368, 8th Bn., Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) who died on 6th November 1918, age 29
Remembered with Honour
Chesterfield Spital Cemetery (Old. 6603)
Elizabeth Fowkes was born in 1869, the daughter of William Fowkes and Ann Longden. Her grandfather, Thomas Longden, was a lock-keeper and, in 1871, the family were living with him in the lock-house on Works Road that is now part of the Hollingwood Hub on the Chesterfield Canal. Three years later, Thomas died, aged 72, and the family would have had to leave their home and find accommodation elsewhere.
Elizabeth was just 7 years old when her mother died in 1876 and only 10 when her father was buried in 1880. Both were in their 40’s. Elizabeth and William were taken in by their maternal aunt, Elizabeth Tully, who lived by the canal at Brimington with her family.
Uncle Edward Tully was a “foreman of labourers” at Staveley Works and, by 1889, the Tully family had moved to a dwelling at Staveley Works Yard. It was here that ALBERT CARTLEDGE FOWKES was born to 19 year old Elizabeth on 23rd July 1889. His birth certificate reveals that his mother was a domestic servant. As an unmarried mother, she would have needed to earn a living for herself and to pay for her baby son’s care. The 1891 Census records that 21 year old Elizabeth was, at that time, employed as a general servant in a boarding house on the promenade at North Meols (Southport) whilst 2 year old Albert is recorded as the “adopted” son of George and Eliza Mills of Brimington.
After Elizabeth married John William Hoyes on 9th October 1893 at St Michael’s Church, Brimington, Albert returned to live with his mother and was recorded under the assumed name of Hoyes on census returns.
By 1901, 11 year old Albert had four Hoyes half-siblings; Mary Ellen, Clarice Ada, Harriet and John William. Arthur was born in 1907 and Eric in 1910. Sadly, Albert’s half-brother John William Hoyes died in 1910, aged 9; one of three children in the family to die young.
The Hoyes family were living at 14, Hall Road at Brimington in 1911 and both Elizabeth’s husband, John William Snr, and Albert were employed at the Gas Works; John William as a stoker and Albert as a labourer.
Albert married Sarah Ann Elliott on 5th April 1915. They were both 25 years old and Albert’s occupation at the time is recorded as Engine Stoker. His residence is noted as “The Parish of Brimington.”
There are very few surviving records available for Albert’s army service. However, it is known that he enlisted on the 20th January 1916, aged 26 years 8 months and joined the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion Sherwood Foresters, a training/holding Battalion, on the 8th February 1916.
He was later posted to the 2/8th Battalion Royal Scots on the 14th April 1916 with the new number 335368. This number was issued after April 1917 and places him in “D” Company” which was located in North Berwick with drill stations at East Linton, Dunbar and Gullane.
Albert died on 6th November 1918, at 26 Church Lane, Chesterfield and his death was registered by his mother-in-law, S.Elliott, the following day. He was 29 years old. His occupation is recorded as a Gas Works Stoker. The cause of death was Influenza and Pneumonia.
Albert is buried at Chesterfield Spital Cemetery (Old. 6603). As he was still in service at the time of his death, a headstone was provided by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
© Ann Lucas