Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Albert Hylands was born on 17 September 1887 in West Firle, Sussex to Joseph and Louise Alice (nee Cottington) Hylands. (GROB – Dec 1887 – Lewes – 2B/187)
Joseph and Louise had six children: Mary, John Henry William, Albert, Sarah Jane, Beatrice May and Percival Joseph. All of whom were born at different locations around Sussex including Wilmington, Framfield, Berwick, Eastbourne and finally to Willingdon where Albert’s mother had been born . Joseph being described as a Journeyman in one census.
In 1891, Albert and the family lived at 43 The Greening, Wilmington and by 1901 they were living at Little Croxted, Pale House Common, Framfield, Sussex.
In 1911, at the age of 23, Albert was still living with his family in Lower Willingdon and described as a Carter on Market Garden.
On 24 April1913 Albert married widow, Emily Measey the landlady of the British Queen, Lower Willingdon. Emily was 13 years older than Albert, the widow of Robert Medhurst with 3 children, Robert, Emily and Eva Minnie.
Albert and Emily lived and worked at The Arlington Arms Public House, 480 Seaside, Eastbourne when he joined the Army but we unsure of the date of his enrolment as Private G/19531, of D Company, 7th Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment.
Albert saw action in many major battles at Loos, the Somme and Passchendaele. He was wounded twice during the War and on his last leave home he told the family he would not return again, just before returning to duty.
As part of the Breaking of the Hindenberg Line, on 25 September 1918 the situation on front for 7th Battalion, Royal Sussex, was fairly quiet, and welcome news came through that they were to be relieved at nightfall by 5th Northants. The relief was complete by 1:30 am on 26 September, when the battalion took over some reserve trenches about Chestnut Avenue and Fir Support. On the evening of 27 September the 7th Battalion took over again from the Northants on the front line, but except for slight shelling, next night passed without much incident.
On the 29 September, the 37th Brigade passed through the 7th Battalion and renewed the attacks on Dados Loop, Swallow and Catelet Trenches, in conjunction with another big attack on the right by Australian and American Divisions, with the result that the Royal Sussex came in for some heavy shelling, and several casualties were sustained.
Localized actions took place at first before the main attack on 29 September, in which the Division fought through the formidable mass of enemy trenches, heavy shelling and several casualties were sustained in front of Ossus Wood near Little Priel Farm before reaching the western outskirts of Vendhuile, France.
Albert Hylands was killed in this attack.
The 7th Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment had now been through seven weeks of practically incessant fighting, and the original battalion that had gone into action on the 8th August had almost ceased to exist. More than 40 officers and 800 other ranks had become casualties – nearly twice it’s fighting strength. There was not a unit in the Division but had suffered equally. Since 8th August the Division had advanced twenty-six miles and captured many prisoners, so that if ever troops had earned a rest they had. Relief came on the next day, 30th September.
Less than a month on 28 October the whole Brigade was relieved and the 7th Battalion went to Vieux Conde, near St Amand. On the following day they marched back to Montreuil, near Flines, and remained there until the 10 November. During this time there were rumours of an early Armistice and there was much speculation as to whether we should be sent into the line again before it came about.
About 9am on the 11 November came that fateful telegram: –
“Wire received that Armistice would commence 11am . 11am Church Parade”
The Armistice was not unexpected, and after the long and expensive attacks since the 8 August it was more than welcome.
Albert Hylands was one of the last casualties from the 7th Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment.
His grave is unknown but he is commemorated by name on panel 6 of the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, Arras, France. Vis-en-Artois and Haucourt are villages on the straight road from Arras to Cambri, 10km south east of Arras.
Albert is also remembered on the ring of remembrance, the immense and powerful list of all those who died in WW1, at the Memorial, Notre Dame De Lorette in France.
The Royal Sussex Regiment Memorial Panels in St George’s Chapel, Chichester Cathedral also commemorates Albert, as does his local Parish Church in Willingdon, Sussex but his regiment is incorrect inscribed.
Albert’s medal card shows he was awarded the Victory and British Medals.
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