Albert GATHRICK
Rank: Private
Number: 258134
Unit: 210th Area Employment Company LABOUR CORPS (MANCHESTER on mem)
Date of Death: 20 October 1918
Age: 25
Cemetery: Montecchio Precalcino Communal Cemetery Extension, Italy

Albert's commemoration on the Stockport War Memorial is amongst those who served with the Manchester Regiment. Albert served for most of the War with the Regiment's 21st Battalion and was probably only transferred the Labour Corps in early 1918 whilst in Italy.

His father, also called Albert, had married Charlotte Morgan at St Elizabeth's Church, Reddish in the first quarter of 1892. When the Census was taken in 1901, the family was living at 16 Prenton View, Reddish. Albert, then aged 7, was the eldest of the four children. His younger sisters were Hannah (6), Leah (4) and Alice (11 months).

Albert attended Houldsworth School. The family worshipped at St Elizabeth's and Albert furthered his education by attending the Church's Sunday school. Albert, senior, died in 1902 aged about 32 and it is possible that this when the family moved to 42 Oldham Road, Reddish (where they were certainly living in 1918).

Albert enlisted into the army in November 1914. At the time he was working for J T Gibson & Sons, Reddish. The 1914 edition of Kelly's Directory does not mention a company of this name ,but it does refer to a James Thomas Gibson, tinplate worker, of 45 Lambeth Road, Reddish who may have been Albert's employer. The Manchester City Battalions Book of Honour records Albert as being an original member of No. 6 Platoon, "B" Company, 21st Battalion - the Sixth of the Manchester Regiment's "Pals" Battalions.

Albert will have gone overseas in November 1915, and will have taken part in the Battle of the Somme inn the summer and autumn of 1916 and, also, the Third Battle of Ypres in the late summer of 1917. At the end of October 1917, the 21st Battalion was transferred to Italy and, at some point, Albert was reassigned to the Labour Corps. The Corps was formed of men deemed not fit enough for the rigours of trench warfare and it is possible that the preceding two years of War had taken its toll on Albert's health. The Corps would undertake vital manual work in the rear areas - tasks such as road building, unloading stores, etc.

In the autumn of 1918, there was a world wide pandemic of influenza which caused many millions of deaths and Albert was admitted to one of the military field hospitals at Montecchio Precalcino. The Sister in Charge wrote to his family saying he had been admitted in a dangerous condition as a result of the influenza and had passed away.

   
           
   
     
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