Lance Corporal 9003 Albert Hay

Killed in Action on Saturday, 19th September 1914, age 28.
Commemorated on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, Seine-Et-Marne, France.

3rd Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 7th Brigade of 3rd Division.

Husband of Frances Hay, of Libbery, Grafton Flyford, Worcester.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tenbury, Worcs, Resident: Tenbury, Worcs.

First landed France & Flanders, 12th August 1914.
Medal entitlement: 1914 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/878987/

Genealogical Data

1891 Census
47 Pedmore Road, Woodside, Dudley, Worcs.
Albert Hay (28, Coal Miner, born Abberley Valley, Worcs), his wife Elizabeth (20, born Moor Side, Staffs) and their 2 children: Albert (5, born Tipton), and Edith A. (1, born Moor Side, Staffs).

1901 Census
Bright's Hall, Sutton, Tenbury, Worcs.
Albert Hay (37, Agricultural Labourer born Rochford, Worcs), his wife Elizabeth (28, born Moor Side, Dudley), and their 3 children: Albert (15, born Tipton), and Edith A. (11, born Moor Side, Worcester), and Lizzie (1, born Moor Side, Worcester).

1911 Census
Libbery, Grafton Flyford, Worcs.
Boarding with his parents-in-law Henry and Ann Reynolds were:
Albert Hay (24, Soldier - Lance-Corporal, born Tipton) and his wife of less than one year Frances (22, born Libbery, Grafton Flyford).

Personal Data

Albert's connection with Tipton was fleeting. Neither parent was born in the town, and although he was born here in January 1886, by the time of the 1891 census the Hay family had moved to Pedmore Road, Dudley, and by 1901 to Tenbury Wells.

On 2nd January 1905 Albert Hay enlisted with the Worcesters, being posted to the 3rd Battalion. He was 18 years and 11 months old, 5 ft 6¼ in tall with a 36½ in chest, weighed 124 lbs, had dark brown hair and grey eyes, and gave his occupation as a Groom. In 1907 and 1908 he served in India and South Africa.

19th July 1911, having served his time with the Worcesters was transferred to the Reserves. By this time he was a married man, having married Frances Reynolds on 24th October 1910. They lived with her parents at Libbery, Grafton Flyford near Tenbury Wells, and their son Albert Francis Hay was born on 25th April 1911.

War was declared and, being a Reservist, on 7th August 1914 Albert was recalled to the 3rd Worcesters. The next day he was made a Lance-Corporal, and just 4 days later he landed in France, one of the original "Old Contemptibles." His war lasted just 5 weeks.

After Albert's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £3/5/4d (3 pounds, 5 shillings and 4 pence); this was paid to his widow, Frances, in January 1915. His War Gratuity was £5/0/0d (5 pounds precisely), this was also paid to Frances in May 1919.

Action resulting in his death

The 3rd Worcesters faced the Germans at Mons on the 23rd August, the odds were overwhelming and retreat was the only option. After two days, II Corps were too exhausted to continue and were to stand and fight - the Battle of Le Cateau on the 26th August. This provided little relief as the retreat continued that night, but the losses inflicted on the Germans meant that they did not harass the retreat for some time.

The retreat continued until 6th September when the French, with some British assistance, managed to halt the German advance at the Battle of the Marne. This success led to a German retreat which continued until 13th September, when they attempted to stabilise their line at the Battle of the Aisne.

The 3rd Worcesters managed to cross the River Aisne at Vailly on 15th September, and managed to secure a foothold only after severe fighting. This line stabilised, despite being shelled intermittently, until on the evening of the 19th September a fierce musketry duel broke out all along the 3rd Worcesters line. 17 men from the 3rd Worcesters were to lose their lives on that day, including Albert Hay. His body was never identified, and he is commemorated on the La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings