Albert HEPWORTH
Rank: Sergeant
Number: 266094
Unit: 11th Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 23 October 1917
Age: 21
Cemetery: Cambrin Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

Albert is recorded on the Bredbury War Memorial as serving with the 6th Cheshires, although he was serving with the 11th Battalion when he was killed.

He was born in Compstall, the youngest son of Joseph and Mrs Hepworth. At the time of the 1901 Census, the family was still in Compstall but later came to live at 231 George Lane, Bredbury. Albert continued to attend the Compstall Primitive Methodist Church, where he was a member of the choir. He was also a teacher and pianist at the church's Sunday School.

When war was declared in 1914, Albert was an engineering apprentice at the local works of Pollock & McNab Ltd. He enlisted into the army in the September, joining the local Territorial Battalion - the 6th Cheshires. During training with the 6th's reserve battalion, he became very proficient with the rifle and was quickly promoted. This skill, coupled with his talents as a teacher, meant that he was retained in Britain, rather than being sent to the Western Front. By September 1916, he was a musketry instructor with the rank of sergeant.

In June 1917, yet another draft of troops was ready to go overseas, but Albert was not selected to go. It's understood that he swapped places with a friend who was a married man with six children. In doing this, he lost a rank and went to France as a corporal, but quickly regained his third stripe. Very soon after arriving in France, Albert was attached to the 11th Battalion and it is thought that all of his active service was with this unit.

The Battalion's War Diary does not record its activities during the middle of October 1917, only mentioning that it went into the front line on the 18th at positions near Le Quesnoy. This is more than 60 kilometres from Cambrin, where Albert is buried, so it is reasonable to assume that the Battalion had come out of the line at Le Quesnoy and was near Cambrin by the 21st.  There are no official records available that might indicate what happened to Albert.

His family probably never knew about the transfer to a different unit and this explains the inscription on the War Memorial.

   
           
   
     
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