Lance Corporal 15734 Albert George Littlewood

 Littlewood Albert 96 418x600

Died of Wounds on Saturday, 1st June 1918, age 25.
Buried in Grave II. C. 30. at Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt, Somme, France.

18th Bn., Lancashire Fusiliers. 104th Brigade of 35th Division.

Son of James and Nancy Littlewood, of 6, Victoria Rd., Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Dudley, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and Park Chapel memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/57634/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Albert George Littlewood registered June quarter 1895 in Dudley.

1901 Census
3 Court 2 House, Coneygree Road, Tipton, Staffs.
James Littlewood (45, Butcher's Labourer, born Dudley), his wife Nancy (42, born Dudley), and their 5 children: Elizabeth (16, Domestic Servant, born Dudley), John (12, born Dudley), James (10, born Dudley), Albert G. (5, born Dudley), and Samuel (4, born Dudley).

1911 Census
6 Victoria Road, Tipton, Staffs.
James Littlewood (56, Widower, Labourer in Sausage Factory, born Dudley), and his 5 surviving children of 8: Elizabeth Cherrington (26, born Dudley, plus her husband and 3 children), John Littlewood (22, Labourer in Sausage Factory, born Dudley), James (20, Moulder, born Dudley), Albert George (15, Foundry Moulder, born Dudley), Samuel (14, Foundry Moulder, born Dudley).

Personal Data

The 18th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers was initially a Bantam Battalion for men less than the 5' 3'' required for other infantry Battalions. By the end of 1916 the quality of Bantam replacements became sub-standard; in common with the other Bantam Battalions, replacements from then on were average conscripts. As Albert Littlewood enlisted in early 1915, it can be assumed that he was a Bantam by height.

After Albert's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £27/8/3d (27 pounds, 8 shillings and 3 pence); this was paid to his father, James, in October 1918. His War Gratuity was £15/10/0d (15 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his father in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Albert had enlisted in approximately February 1915.

Action resulting in his death

From 35th Divisional history.
On 1st June 1918 the 104th Brigade attacked Aveluy Wood with the south-west section as objective. At 3.25am a barrage was put down on the edge of the wood and a smoke-screen covered the southern flank. At first the attack was successful, the western edge of the wood being occupied. By 5.30am the 18th Lancashire Fusiliers were on the final objective.

About midday the enemy counter-attacked and the troops in the wood were gradually forced back. The 18th Lancashire Fusiliers had to withdraw across the open to Heathcote's Bank.

67 men of the 18th Lancashire Fusiliers were killed on 1st June 1918. Bagneux is some 15 miles from Aveluy, so it is possible that Albert was wounded in the days leading up to this attack. He is buried in Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt.

Newspaper Cuttings