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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Albert Victor Carey MM


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Dear Pals

It's been a long time since I posted (medical reasons) so forgive me please for my absence.

I'm searching for my relative, Albert Victor Carey born 4/2/1893, registration district Battle, Sussex. I've searched Ancestry for Military records but although there are a couple of Albert Victors, neither are mine.

His parents were Henry Carey (b.c 1856) and Ann. I think his mother was Anne Coussens b c 1857-1861). They lived at 26 Beaconsfield Road, Bexhill on Sea, Sussex.

According to SDGW Albert V Carey was G/15855, Lance Corporal in the 1st Btn The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) formerly G/15837, 8th Battn, Bedford Regiment. On the CWGC site, he is also commemorated as L/Corporal on Bay 2 of the Arras Memorial. He is also listed on the Bexhill Memorial as a Corporal.

I've got copies of the 1881 and 1901 censuses plus his MIC. I think I've also found him in 1891 with his Uncle however, as I said, I can't find any Military Records for him.

If you can help with any other information at all, it would be wonderful - especially how/why he was awarded his MM and also where he could have been/was and, perhaps, what action he might have been involved in when he died.

Many thanks in advance for anything you can tell me.


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Looking at Martin Middlebrooks The Kaisers Battle, 1st Buffs were deployed in 6th Division on 21st march 1918, the day Albert died. A fist hand account mentions the Hirondelle Valley, and the Flesquieres

Salient. (Flesquieres is quite close to Cambrai)but the Buffs were on the extreme left of the salient.


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There does not seem to be a service record on ancestry but I can add a little more with regards to his time in the 8th Bedfordshires.

His service number suggests he enlisted around 10th September 1914, at which time he would have been mobilised into the newly raised 8th (Service) Battalion. After training, he landed in France witht he battalion 30th August 1915 and before the division had even been into the trenches, they were among the few 'New Army' units to be committed to the Battle of Loos.

Other than time holding the trenches, the most significant events Albert would have been engaged in (assuming he was not wounded and removed from the battalion at any stage) were in December 1915 and April 1916, when they were hit very hard by German raids against their lines, losing around 200 men each time.

Next was The Battle of Flers Courcellette, when his battalion were mauled attacking a position called The Quaderilateral in September; over 400 men were lost in a series of heavy attacks against an initially hidden defensive line. They were also committed to the Battle of Morval a week later but in a support role as they were so depleted.

The Battle of Arras (mid April 1917) was next. His battalion were engaged in taking German positions in and around Lens, to the north of the main Arras battlefield. In a series of close quarter assaults around an area called Hill 70, they lost almost 200 men again.

Albert's Military Medal citation has not survivied as they were all destroyed many decades ago but it was gazetted 18th June 1917. His Bedfordshire service number was used in the listing so, assuming he won it in the 8th Bedfordshires and absed on the date it was listed, it was likely to have been from the Battle of Arras.

More info, including the battalion war diaries, can be seen here - http://www.bedfordregiment.org.uk/index.html

Perhaps if someone can add when his Kent service number was issued, it will narrow down the time frame of his service.

I would also suggest checking his next of kin's local papers from the time for mention of Albert, especially aroudn the time he won his MM.

Hope that helps & the best of luck to you!

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Dear Steve

Many, many thanks for this info. It gives me lots to think about and to research and I'm very grateful.


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Just a quick update.

Since the last reply to my original post, I thought I'd bring you up to date to tell you that I've discovered that Albert Victor Carey's parents had lost another son prior to Albert's death:

L/Corporal Percival William Lewis Carey, No 16829, the Bedfordshire Regiment.

While Albert had transferred (been posted?) to The Buffs from the Befordshire Rgt., it looks like Percival remained. He was in the 8th Battalion and was killed in action in France and Flanders nine months earlier than his brother on 18 June 1917. He had been married for just 6 months. Perhaps Albert and his brother had sign up together.

RIP Percival and Albert - Not Forgotten.


PS - He too is remembered on the Arras Memorial.

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