7/14170, “D” Coy. 7th Bn., Leicestershire Regiment who died of wounds on 14 July 1916, aged 30
Remembered with Honour
Thiepval Memorial ( Pier &Face 2 C and 3 A)
ALBERT EDWARD CHERRY was born in Little Harrowden, near Wellingborough, in 1886, the fourth son and fifth child of furnace-keeper William Cherry and his wife Laura. The family was living at Hill Top in 1891 and included Albert’s siblings William John, Mary Lucy, Ernest, George, Arthur and baby Laura. His youngest sister, Alice, was born in 1892.
Albert was only 12 years old when his mother, Laura, died in 1898. William John left home in 1899 when he married Florence Crouch but his father was left to bring up the other 7 children alone. By 1901, the family had moved to Pollard Street and their income had increased as the older boys found employment; Ernest as a labourer at a pig iron foundry, and George, Albert and Arthur in the shoe trade for which the area was renowned.
The death of William in 1905 caused the family to disperse. The 1911 Census records that Lucy, Ernest, Laura and Alice remained in Kettering, Arthur and George were in the army and Albert was in lodgings with the Smedley family at Staveley whilst working in the blast furnace at Staveley Works.
Albert was living at Station Road in Brimington when he enlisted at Chesterfield on 2nd September 1914, aged 29, and was posted to the 7th (Service) Bn., Leicestershire Regiment on 7th September with the service number 14170. His records reveal that he was 5’6 ½” tall, weighed 132 lbs and had a pale complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair.
The battalion was part of K2 and was attached as Army Troops to 15th (Scottish) Division roll. Early days were somewhat chaotic, the new volunteers having very few trained officers and NCOs to command them, no organised billets or equipment. It was inspected by HM King George V on 26 September 1914, the first occasion on which the Division paraded as a formed unit, and with the exception of the Staff, plain clothes were worn. By 22nd January 1915 the Division was in uniform for an inspection by Kitchener. In April 1915, the battalion was transferred to 110th Brigade in 37th Division and concentrated at Cholderton on Salisbury Plain. On 25th June the units were inspected by King George V at Sidbury Hill and on 22nd July 1915 the Division began to cross the English Channel. Albert landed in France on 29th July 1915 where units were concentrated near Tilques and where they remained on the Western Front.
The Brigade transferred to 21st Division on 7th July 1916 and was in action at the Battles of Albert (1st-13th July) and the Bazentin Ridge (14th-17th July) on the Somme. Just one week after joining the 21st Division, on 14th July, Albert Edward Cherry died of wounds received in action.
A newspaper report printed on 2nd September 1916 stated that his friends had last heard from him on 13th July and his brother, George, appealed for information.
Albert Edward Cherry is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, the memorial to the missing on the Somme.
He was posthumously awarded the 1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal which were sent to his sister Mary Lucy.
His records state that his brothers Ernest, George and Arthur all lived at 29, Devonshire Cottages, Barrow Hill, along with George’s wife, and it is known that Albert also lived with them.
*George Cherry was the brother-in-law of Fred Humphreys who is named on the war memorial plaque at Barrow Hill
© Ann Lucas