Albert was employed as a coal miner at the Coppice Colliery (known locally as the ‘Fair Lady’) and enlisted with the Royal Engineers shortly after the outbreak of war.
Albert was hit by a bullet in his back and died from his injuries on 27th April 1915.
Lieutenant Welchman wrote to his family saying ‘I cannot tell you how much Albert will be missed, he was always so cheerful and so ready’.
After his death several of Albert’s personal effects were passed on to his father including: a tobacco pouch, briar pipe, clay pipe, rosary beads, metal watch, a gold signet ring, a bullet and a selection of photographs and letters.
Albert was buried at St. Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery in Belgium and he is commemorated on the Heath Hayes War Memorial.
After Armistice the Silver jug (pictured here) was presented to St. John’s Church, Heath Hayes. The engraving on the back reads: ‘To the Glory of God & in memory of: W. Cockin [Cockayne], W.T. Archer, A.E. Morris, E. Yates, J.H. Shirley, C.H. Clayton & J. Tooth – who died on active service in France 1914-18. Also as a thanks offering, for the safe return of sons from the war and for the blessing of Victory and Peace. May 1919′.
Although it is nearly one hundred years old, it is still used in weekly services at St. John’s Church on Hednesford Road, Heath Hayes.