Private 7175 Albert Tovey

Tovey Albert 96 442x600

Killed in Action on Friday, 12th January 1917, age 30.
Buried in Grave I. K. 19. at A.I.F. Burial Ground, Flers, Somme, France.

1st/9th Bn., Durham Light Infantry. 151st Brigade of 50th Division.
Formerly 41900 Northumberland Fusiliers.

Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Birmingham, Resident: Unknown.

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

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/264773/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Albert Tovey registered December quarter 1886 at Dudley. Albert was actually born on 13th November 1886 at 28 Canal Street, Tipton.

1901 Census
Court 2 House 4, Park Lane West, Tipton, Staffs.
Enock Tovey (46, Pump Fitter, born Birmingham), his wife Jane (40, born Birmingham), and their 6 children: William (20, Pump Fitter, born Birmingham), Florence (17, born Tipton), Albert (14, Pump Moulder, born Tipton), Harriet (12, born Tipton), Elizabeth (11, born Tipton), and Annie (7, born Tipton).

Marriage of Albert Tovey and Margaret Doyle registered September quarter 1907 in Aston. They were married on 28th July 1907 at St. James Church, Ashted, Birmingham. Albert was aged 20 and an Iron Moulder of 7 Lawley Street, Birmingham, Margaret was 19 years old and from 6 Lawley Street, Birmingham.

1911 Census
9 Norton Street, Birmingham.
Living with William and Mary Tovey was Albert Tovey (24, Iron Founder, born Tipton), and his wife Margaret (22, Press Worker, born Birmingham). William and Albert Tovey were brothers.

Personal Data

After Albert's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £2/12/10d (2 pounds, 12 shillings and 10 pence); this was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Margaret, in May and July 1917. His War Gratuity was £10/10/0d (10 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to Margaret in October 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Albert had enlisted in approximately August 1915.

Margaret was awarded a Widow's Pension of 13/9d (13 shillings and 9 pence) per week, effectve from 30th July 1917. Margaret's address at that time was 8 Victoria Terrace, Dawson Road, Handsworth.

Action resulting in his death

Roland Boys Bradford was given command of the 1/9th Durham Light Infantry (DLI) in August 1916, he was only 24 years old. In September and October 1916, the 1/9th DLI took part in the battles of Flers, Morval, and the Transloy Ridges; at Eaucort l’Abbaye on 1st October, Lieutenant Colonel Bradford won the Victoria Cross for his leadership and bravery. On 5th November the 1/9th DLI attacked and took the Butte de Warlencourt, but they were unable to hold it and fell back to their start position. This battle cost the battalion 300 men killed or wounded. It is likley that Albert was present for these actions.

In January 1917 the 1/9th DLI alternated between front line trenches (a mile north of Flers), support trenches (½ mile north-west of Flers) and huts behind the line in Bazentin-le-Petit. On the 8th/9th January they took over the support trenches and remained there until the 12th/13th January.

The War Diary for 12th/13th January says: "The Battalion was relieved in the Support Trenches by the 8th DLI and proceded to High Wood West Camp. One man killed in action." The only 1/9th DLI casualty on those days was Albert Tovey.

Albert was initially buried near the Support Trenches about ½ mile north-west of Flers. In 1919 that burial location was cleared and Albert was re-buried in Green Lane Cemetery, which is now called A.I.F. (Australian Imperial Forces) Burial Grounds.

Newspaper Cuttings