Information linking Albert (“Bertie”) Abbott to Abbots Langley was received from a relation in August 2014. Albert’s name was not recorded in any of the Parish records. Private Albert Abbott was born at Charlton-Hawthorne near Sherborne in Dorset in 1897, the son of Ernest and Susan Abbott. In the 1901 Census the family was living at Berry Farm, Whelpley Hill, Buckinghamshire, where Ernest was recorded as a Stockman on a Farm. It is thought that the family then moved to Abbots Langley sometime before 1905 and lived in the Model Cottages at Tibbs Hill. Albert’s sister, Dorothy May Abbott was born in Abbots Langley on 8th August 1905. Dorothy married Frederick John Robins from Garden Road in the early 1920’s when he returned from the War. The Probate Records for Susan show that she was living at College Cottage, Leavesden, with her husband, Ernest, a Cowman, when she died at Peace Memorial Hospital in Watford on 24 January 1928, following a motor car accident.
Little is known about Albert’s whereabouts, until he enlisted at Yeovil with the 1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry and on 1st June 1915 arrived in France. The “Soldiers Died in the Great War” archive indicated that he was a resident of Charlton Hawthorne. He was killed in action on 1st July 1916, on the first day of the infamous Battle of the Somme, and was buried at Thistle Dump Cemetery, Longueval, some distance from where the 1st Somerset Light Infantry was in the Front Line attacking the German redoubt, “the Quadrilateral”, near Serre. The battalion suffered 464 casualties on the 1st and 2nd July 1916.
Albert’s three brothers-in-law, Frank, Lewis and Percy Robins all survived the War.