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1890 –1917

Early Life

ALBERT EDWARD ROOT was born in January 1890 at Braintree Road, Chatham Green, Great Waltham, one of ten children, four daughters and six sons, born to Samuel and Selina Root (née Wakeling). Albert was their sixth child and fourth son. Their first child Walter died at 5 weeks in February 1880.


Samuel and Selina were married on the 31st October 1879 at the Parish Church, Great Waltham. Samuel, who was born in Felsted, was 21 years old and a Labourer and Selina, aged 19 years was a Servant.


In 1881 the family were living at ‘Great Road’, Chatham Green and Samuel was an Agricultural Labourer. In 1891 the family were living at Braintree Road (possibly Great Road, renamed) and Albert was a year old.


The 1911 Census shows the family still living on the Braintree Road, with Albert now working as a Carter for a Builder.


In the same hamlet lived Mabel Marshall and on the 13th April 1914 Albert and Mabel married in the Parish Church at Great Waltham. His occupation was given as a Carman and he was 25 years old. Mabel married ‘with consent’ as she was only 19 years old and expecting her first baby.


Ada Ethel was born on the 6th August 1914 and their second daughter, Gladys Eva, was born the 26th April 1916.

Military Life

Albert enlisted at Chelmsford on the 8th December 1915 aged 25 years and 11 months, giving his current occupation as a Groom and a gardener. He joined the 12th Royal West Kent Regiment as Private, Regimental no. 18327 and the following day he went on the Army Reserve. He was mobilized on the 8th April 1916 and posted the following day.


On the 1st September he was on reserve training for the British Expeditionary Force in the UK with the 23rd Brigade and then posted with the 99th Battalion on the 6th September. He joined the 11th Battalion on the 18th September and on the 5th October he was wounded in action on the field.


On the 17th October he received a gunshot wound to his right hand and didn’t rejoin the Battalion until the 11th November.


On the 20th December, Albert was in Boulogne, as he had inflammatory connective tissue (ICT) in his legs and was given medicine. However, on the 26th February 1917 he was sent back to England on the HS Princess Elizabeth as he had PUO (pyrexia of unknown origin) in other words, Trench Fever. He was treated at the War Hospital, Epsom.


He was posted out with the BEF on the 14th June 1917 but by August had Trench feet.

Death and Memorial

He rejoined the Battalion on the 29th August but was wounded in action with a shot wound to the chest on the 19th September, taken to 133 Field Ambulance Depot in France and died of his wounds the same day. He was 27 years old.


Albert is also remembered on the War Memorial in Great Waltham.

Albert was buried at Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery Ypres, Belgium

Plot II. A.6.

Soldiers Effects.jpg

UK, Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929


Mabel, his widow, received the total sum of £1.9s.3d on the 23rd January 1918. A further Gratuity payment of £6 was paid on the 24th November 1919.


Alfred was awarded the Victory Medal and the British Medal.

Medal Card.jpg



Mabel received his pocket wallet containing postcards and photos on the 7th March 1918 and received a War Pension of 22s.11d per week, from the 8th April 1918.


On the 21st June 1919 Mabel married another Albert, Albert Galley at the Parish Church in Great Waltham. Albert lived at Chatham Green. Their only daughter Rose was born in November, but she died aged 2 months in January 1920.


Albert’s daughter Ada married Stanley Clifford Archer, a Butcher, from Braintree, on the 31st August 1940 in the Parish Church in Great Waltham.


Mabel, who died in 1979 and her husband, Albert Galley are buried in the churchyard at St Martin’s Church, Little Waltham.

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