Company Quartermaster Serjeant 3/4409 Albert William Mills, MSM

Died Home on Monday, 4th October 1920, age 45.
Buried in Grave West of Church at Ocker Hill (St. Mark) Churchyard, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.

Hampshire Regiment, Depot Bn.

Husband of Emily Mills, of The Coppice, Ocker Hill, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Winchester, Enlisted: Winchester, Resident: Tipton.

First landed Balkans, 22nd July 1915.
Medal entitlement: Meritorious Service Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because buried in St. Mark's Churchyard, Tipton.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/395328/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Albert Mills registered March quarter 1876 in Winchester.

1901 Census
Albert would have been in South Africa with the Hampshire Regiment.

1911 Census
In Barracks, Winchester, Hampshire.
Albert William Mills (Sergeant with the 3rd Hampshire Regiment, 35, Married, born Winchester).

In Married Quarters Winchester, Hampshire.
Emily Mills (28, Married, born Breamore, Hants), and her 2 children: Geoffrey Wellstead (1, born Winchester), and Leslie Albert (under 3 months, born Winchester).
Albert and Emily had 4 further children: Gwenda Cooper born 16th June 1912 in Winchester, Kathleen Aisne born 16th September 1914 in Winchester, Marjorie Emily born 24th October 1917 in Tamworth and Arthur Wilfred born 29th May 1919 in Tamworth.

Personal Data

Albert was born in Winchester and returned there after serving abroad for most of the period from 1894 to 1907. He was still resident in Winchester in 1914, but by 1917 his fifth child, Marjorie, was born in Sutton Coldfield which was also the address used on his discharge in 1919. By 1920 the family had moved to Tipton, as his address at the time of his death is given as The Coppice, Ocker Hill, Tipton. This is his only Tipton connection, and he lived here for a relatively short period of his life.

Albert enlisted with the Hampshire Regiment on 12th March 1894 for a period of 7 years and a further 5 years in the Reserves. He was 19 years of age, 5 feet 6½ inches tall with a 33½-inch chest, weighed 117 pounds, and had a fresh complexion, grey eyes, and brown hair. He had been employed as a footman and was serving with the militia at that time; he was Church of England.

Albert was posted to the 2nd Battalion, and served in Ireland from 1894 to 1899. He was promoted to Lance-Corporal in October 1897 and to Corporal in October 1898. Albert then served in India where he extended his service to 12 years, and then served in South Africa in 1901 and 1902, where he was promoted to Sergeant in February 1902. In November 1903 whilst serving in Aden Albert extended his period of service to 21 years, but in 1904 was ill 5 times with "ague" which may well have been malaria.

By 1907 Albert had returned to England as he married Emily Waterman on 2nd December 1907 in Hampshire, they went on to have 5 children: Geoffrey in 1909, Leslie in 1911, Gwenda in 1912, Kathleen in 1914 and Marjorie in 1917. Albert continued to serve in the Hampshires serving in the UK, he was posted to the 3rd (Special Reserves) Battalion, and promoted to Colour Sergeant in June 1912.

On 4th July 1914, just one month before war was declared, Albert was discharged from the Hampshires "at his own request". His military character was "very good", and his charachter "honest, sober and reliable, carries out his duties satisfactorily, and is a fair clerk and accountant. He would do well in a position of trust". He had served for 20 years and 115 days.

Civilian life was short-lived. On 17th August 1914 he was re-called as a Special Reservist to the Hampshires for one year's service, or for the duration of the war. He was 39 years and 176 days of age, 5 feet 6½ inches tall with a 37½-inch chest, weighed 139 pounds, had blue eyes and brown hair; he was a publican. He was instantly promoted to his original rank of Colour Sergeant, and on 28th August to Company Quartermaster Sergeant and then on 9th September posted to the 10th Battalion, Hampshires.

During July 1915 the Hampshires departed from Liverpool for Gallipoli, they landed at Anzac Cove on 7th/8th August. Just a couple of days later, on 10th August, Albert received a bullet wound in the right leg. He was evacuated on Hospital Ship Valdinia to Malta, and then invalided back to England on Hospital Ship Oxfordshire, arriving on 5th September - his active service had lasted just a few days.

On 16th February 1916 Albert was posted to the Depot Battalion as Company Quartermaster Sergeant where he served the remainder of his war. On 13th February 1919 he was discharged as "no longer physically fit for war service", at his discharge his address was 28 Park Road, Sutton Coldfield.

After Albert's discharge again became a Publican, this time in Tipton. Albert was the Licencee at the Cottage Spring, Toll End Road, Ocker Hill, Tipton from 1919 to his death in 1920. The Licence was taken over by Emily on Abert's death, and she was Licencee from 1920 to 1935.

Action resulting in his death

Albert had been discharged from the army as 'no longer fit for war service' in February 1919. Just 18 months later, on 4th October 1920, Albert died in the Ministry of Pensions Hospital, Northfield, Birmingham. The Pension Card in respect of Albert shows the cause of his death as Broncho-Pneumonia and Cardiac Failure. As Albert has a Commonwealth War Graves headstone, it was accepted that his death was caused by, or aggravated by, his military service.

At this time Albert was the Licencee at The Cottage Spring in Ocker Hill, Tipton - this was seemingly his only Tipton connection. Albert is buried in the Churchyard of St. Mark's Church in Ocker Hill, Tipton.

Newspaper Cuttings