Albert John LE CHEVALIER
Rank: Lance Sergeant
Number: TF/260241
Unit: A Company, 7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment (Manchester on Memorial)
Date of Death: 26 September 1918
Age: 36
Cemetery: Doingt Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France

The Le Chevaliers originated from Grouville in Jersey. Charles and Albert were living in the village when the 1901 Census was taken. Charles, the elder of the two, was married and lived with his wife and two children, earning his living as a mason. Albert, a joiner, was living nearby still at the family home.

In 1908, the Woodley and Romiley Golf Club changed its name to the Romiley Golf Club and looked to develop a new course. It invited Charles Le Chevalier, now a professional golf player, to come to the Club and to design and oversee the construction of the new course. He moved here with his family and it seems as though Albert came along with him.

When War was declared in 1914, Albert does not seem to have been an early volunteer. His medal entitlement records at the National Archives show that he enlisted at Manchester into one of the Manchester Regiment Territorial Battalions - the 6th Battalion - and was given the service number of 250839.  This was probably the 2/6th Battalion which went overseas in March of 1917. It was disbanded in the late spring of 1918 and this was presumably when Albert was transferred to the Royal Sussex Regiment.

The Battalion's War Diary is held at the National Archives but it contains scant details of the week leading up to Albert's death. It is known that he had been badly wounded and died at an army field hospital. The British had been forced into retreat in the spring of 1918 and had lost all the ground gained in the previous two years of fighting on the Somme battlefield. But, on 22 August, the British 12th Division, of which Albert's Battalion was part, went on the attack again. The day is not described in any detail in the War Diary and it is only noted that the attack was successful. On the 24th, "B" and "D" Companies made further successful advances. Two days later, at 4.30am, the Battalion again took up the attack east of the village of Mametz. The advance was stalled by heavy enemy machine gun and artillery fire before they could reach their first objective. At 3pm, it became clear that the Germans had withdrawn. Strong patrols were pushed out to try to find where they were and contact was eventually made with the enemy somewhere on the Carnoy - Montauban road.

Sometime during this period, Albert was wounded. He will have received attention from the Battalion's own medical officer, just behind the front line, but this will have been little more than first aid. He will then have been evacuated to Doingt, about 21 kilometres away, where military surgeons will have done all they could to save his life, but without success.   

Charles Le Chevalier continued a long association with the Golf Club. He and his wife had four children. The two daughters had both died by 1930 but his sons, Albert and Charles, both became golf professionals. According to the Club's website, Charles, junior, holds the record for the number of "holes in one" by a British professional, a total of 31. Named after his uncle, Albert, junior, was the Club's professional between 1963 and 1977.

   
           
   
     
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