Research and text by Graham Webster
Albert James Gregory, a Rifleman with the 1st/9th (County of London) Bn, London Regiment (Queen Victoria’s Rifles), service no. 3871, died on 1 July 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
Albert Gregory was born about April 1898 in Byfleet, Surrey, to George and Elizabeth Gregory. In 1901 he was living with the family, father (a bricklayer labourer), mother and two other brothers and two sisters (all born in Byfleet), at The Alley, Byfleet, Surrey. He was a choir-boy at St Mary’s, Byfleet. By 1911 he is living at 4 Rose Garden, Woodham Lane, Addlestone, Surrey, with parents and 7 siblings; father was a ground foreman and in addition to his school studies, Albert is recorded as a “house boy”. Mother and father had 12 children in all, one of whom had died by 1911.
He had enlisted in the Queen Victoria’s Rifles, in London, in August 1914, under the legal enlistment age and was one of Lord Kitchener’s ‘Boy Soldiers’. He also had a service number of 391162. He was killed while taking part in a failed attack opposite the village of Gommecourt. His Medal Card records “presumed dead 1 Jul 1916”.
The mother of Rifleman Albert J. Gregory, of the Queen Victoria Rifles, who resides at 4 Rose Gardens, Woodham-road, Addlestone, has been officially informed by the War Office that he has been killed. The deceased was reported to be missing after July 1st of last year, on which day he took part in an attack on the German trenches. His parents have since made every effort to ascertain if he had survived, but unsuccessfully. The deceased joined up at the age of l6½ years. He had been a Scout, and was employed in London before the war.
(Surrey Herald, 27 April 1917 from KNIGHT, 2012)