Albert Edward Joseph Watts died 30 July 1915
Albert Watts’ birth was registered in 1894 in Northampton.
In 1901, when Albert was 7, his family were living at 8 Old Station, Rugby. The members of his family were his father Albert E Watts, mother Annie E Watts, siblings Henry John S G, Charles M, Edgar H, along with an aunt and cousin. Albert’s father was a Railway Engine Stoker.
In 1911 the family lived at 38 Dale Street. Albert was now aged 17 and a core maker in an iron foundry. The family subsequently moved to 2 Worcester Street, Rugby.
Albert enlisted as a Private in the 7th Battalion of The King’s Royal Rifle Regiment, No. R/1607. He must have enlisted at a similar time to Rifleman Herbert Smith, regimental number R/1621. They both went out to France.
He had been promoted to Lance Corporal before he was killed in action at the Battle of Hooge on 30 July 1915. (See more information about the Battle of Hooge Crater, on Rugby Remembers)
The Rugby Advertiser reported:
‘Amongst the men of the King’s Royal Rifles from Rugby and district who have recently been killed in action or are missing, it is feared must be included the name of Lance-Corpl Bert Watts, whose parents live at 2 Worcester Street, Rugby. The first intimation that Lance-Corpl Watts was missing came from his “pal”, Rifleman Alf Potter, whose home is in Victoria Avenue, New Bilton. The following extract from the letter to Mrs Watts – “We went to the trenches the other night, and towards evening some bombardment started, and both sides had a very hot time of it. Everything went all right till the evening. I saw Bert, and we had a chat together. There was going to be an attack, so we had to leave one another, and both of us wished the other the best of luck. There was a charge made and Bert was seen to fall and many others. In the evening we were released from the trenches and we had a lot of chaps either killed, wounded or missing. I enquired who they were and was told Bert was one of them. You can guess how I felt when I heard this – absolutely down-hearted.’
Albert was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Albert Smith has no known grave but is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Panel 51 and 53. He is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate.
There is a Kings Royal Rifle Corps Memorial which stands beside Menin Road (now next to a theme park).
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM