24th Battalion, Australian Infantry (Australian Imperial Forces)
Killed in Action on Saturday 5th October 1918
Born in Newmarket in Q2-1890, youngest of 3 sons of Benjamin Colin and Hannah JEFFERY (nee WILLSHIRE) of Market Street, Newmarket.|
1891 census...Albert  was at Market Street, Newmarket with his widowed father , an ostler; his brothers Benjamin  a plumber, and Frank  and his sisters Charlotte ; Kate ; Hannah  and Florence . The whole family were Newmarket born. His mother died Q4-1890.
1901 census...Albert  was still at the same place with his father; sisters Charlotte and Hannah, and brother Frank (a painter).
1911 census...Albert has not been found, but his father and sisters Charlotte and brother Frank were still in Market Street.
Albert cannot be found in the 1911 census, so he may well have been in Australia by then. He was the husband of Annie R.JEFFERY ( marriage appears to have been in Australia in 1915) who subsequently left Australia on October 19th 1919 and returned to her parents at 11 Stafford Street, Burton on Trent and remarried to Willam T BARTRAM in Burton on Trent in 1920. (CWGC has Barham).
(The title Australian Imperial Forces was only on headstones and memorials, it was not a badge. The badge is worded Australian Commonwealth Military Forces)|
On line it is possible to see, from the Australian archives, 66 pages of Albert's service records and correspondence between his wife and the Army. Briefly though, he enlisted in the A.I.F on 4th September 1915, in Melbourne, Victoria, giving his age as 26 1/2 , weighing 150 lbs and 5' 6 3/4 " tall, and he was still unmarried. His wife writes several times from "Denbies", Glenhuntly Road, Glenhuntly, Melbourne. A change of address was notified as Next of Kin, Mrs A.R.Jeffery, c/o Mrs Angus, "St Leonards" Eskdale Road, Caulfield, Melbourne. but so far no actual date for marriage. From the letters it was certainly before September 1916. When writing to ask where Albert's watch and chain were, she mentions the ring she gave him on their marriage six weeks before he sailed, so that puts the marriage at around end of November 1915.
He sailed from Australia for Europe on 5th January 1916, via Alexandria and Marseilles. Below is one set of his records.
click here to go to the Australian Archives website for full digital scan of his records
His was a traumatic life, 2 periods of punishment for being absent without leave, three times ill in hospital and being three times wounded in action, indeed he was wounded whilst in hospital in St Omer on 1st October 1917 by a German air raid. Many times he ended up recuperating in England before being shipped back to his unit. He was killed in action somewhere near Montbrehain, where the 24th Battalion incurred quite heavy losses on 5th October attack. His wife refers to him as being "C" Coy stretcher bearer.The attack of the previous day was the scene for the last Australian VC of the war, Lt. George Morby Ingram V.C.
Initially he was buried with 12 of his mates who were also killed on 5th October, at MELBOURNE CEMETERY, MONTBREHAIN, on the South side of the Montbrehain- Ramicourt road, containing the graves of 15 Australian soldiers (13 of whom belonged to the 24th Battalion, from Victoria,) who fell on the 5th October, 1918. .They were later exhumed and moved to the Bellicourt British Cemetery, a short distance away
Some of the abbreviations used in the records are:
N.Y.D.....Not yet diagnosed........................ P.U.O.....Pryrexia (fever) of Unknown Origin, both of which are probably medicalese for No Idea.
A.F.A.....Australian Field Ambulance............... C.C.S.....Casualty Clearing Station
H.S.......Hospital Ship............................ GSW.......Gunshot Wound, similarly B.W. Bullet Wound
A.G.H.....Army General Hospital......or Sty...Staionary Hospital.............. M/I and M/O...Marched In or Marched Out
© Commonwealth War Graves Commission
click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details