Albert William Bickell

Service:                Army

Rank:                   Company Sergeant Major

Service No:           3773

Unit:                     3rd/6th Bn. Gloucestershire Regiment

 

Albert was born in Bristol in the first quarter of 1868; he was the 1st child of Charles and Emma Bickell.  As a 13 year old in 1881 he was a scholar boarding at Queen Elizabeth Hospital School in Bristol. The 1891 census records Albert as an Elementary School Master and he was residing with his parents and younger siblings at 1 Tenby Street, Bristol. During 1892 Albert married Emily Thompson. By 1901 the family had moved to St. George, Albert his wife Emily & 3 children Percy, Nellie & Arthur were living at 52 Northcote Street, Albert was an Assistant School Master.  A further daughter, Winnie, was born in 1904 & by 1911 all were living at 2 Lambley Road St. George, Bristol.

On 1st January 1913 Sergeant Albert W Bickell was awarded The Territorial Force Efficiency Medal, this indicates that he must have had at least 12 years service with the regiment.

The 6th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment was a territorial unit based in St Michael's Hill, Bristol serving with the Gloucester and Worcester Brigade in South Midland Division. The units had just departed for their annual summer camp when war broke out in August 1914 and they were at once recalled. They mobilised for war service on 5 August 1914 and moved to Swindon, then to Maldon in Essex in the second week of August to concentrate with the Division and commence training. They proceeded to France from Folkestone, landing at Bologne on the 30th of March 1915 The Division concentrated near Cassel. On the 15th of May 1915 the formation was renamed 144th Brigade, 48th (South Midland) Division.

I have, as yet, been unable to discover any records to confirm if Albert did go to France with the 6th Battalion; I have not found his details on Soldiers Died in the Great War nor a medal record card.  Albert Died on 18th October 1915 and is buried and remembered with honour at the Bristol (Avon View) Cemetery, Grave Reference DBC. 116. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records widow Emily’s address as “Fair View” The Avenue, St George Bristol. Albert’s name is Listed on the National Union of Teachers Roll “ The Gallant Dead” this indicates that he taught at Moorfields School.

 

Image by Doug Crew

References 

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Great War Forum

The Gloucestershire Regiment In the War 1914-18 Pages 129- 130

1901 & 1911 UK household census

Wikipedia.