Albert Victor Hands

Acting Lance Corporal Albert Victor Hands, 10th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment. Regimental Number 14152.

Lance Corporal Albert Victor Hands.

Albert was born in Haworth on June 19, 1891, registered in Keighley in the third quarter of the year. He was baptised on August 2, at St Michael and All Angel's Church. Parents Samuel Oliver and Sarah Hands.
In 1901 he was ten and living at 24, Ivy Bank Lane in Haworth with his parents, two brothers and two sisters. Samuel was a beamer of warps at a worsted mill. By 1911 he was nineteen and still living at 24, Ivy Bank Lane with his parents and one sister. Samuel was a warping overlooker and Albert was a spinning overlooker.
Albert enlisted in October 1914 at Keighley and served with the 10th Battalion, West Riding Regiment. He was with his Lewis gun team in the front line when he was shot in the head and killed, by a sniper.

War diary, 10th Battalion West Riding Regiment, October 1916:
GOURLEY TRENCH. October 1. The Battalion left PEAKE WOOD for GOURLEY TRENCH in the morning. During the afternoon a heavy bombardment was carried out by our guns in preparation for an attack by the 70th Brigade. Word was received later that they had gained their objectives. Day fine. Orders received from Brigade that Battalion would proceed to front line on 2nd inst, the 69th Infantry Brigade relieving the 70th and our Battalion relieving the 8th KOYLI. Orders were issued to companies as per attached copy marked 'A' The relief was very much delayed owing to congestion in the trenches and was not complete until just before day break. [Albert was killed during this period]

Keighley News October 21, 1916, page 5:
HAWORTH. Acting Lance-Corporal Albert V. Hands, of the Lewis gun section of the West Riding Regiment, youngest son of Mr. S. O. Hands, Ivy Bank, Haworth, has been killed in action. The sad news was received from Corporal H. Benson, of the same section, who said: "He was shot through the head by a sniper about 7 am on October 4. It will be a relief to you to know that he suffered no pain, death being instantaneous. Albert was one of my closest friends, and it was a great blow to me losing the best of pals. He was one of the best men in the section on the gun, and he was acting lance-corporal in charge of a gun. He would have obtained this promotion as soon as we moved out of the trenches. We buried him as decently as possible. In closing I wish to convey to you the deepest sympathy of myself and all the boys in this section. I am sorry to say you may not have a letter from our officer, as he was seriously wounded on _____. May God give you his help in your great hour of trial." The deceased soldier was a member of the Haworth Parish Church choir, and deputy organist.

Albert's grave was lost on the battlefield as he has no known grave, and is named on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, in the Somme region of France.

Albert was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service.

He is remembered on the main Haworth War Memorial, the roll of honour board in St Michael and All Angel's Church, The Stanbury Church roll of honour and on the Haworth Oddfellows roll of honour in the care of Wyedean Weaving in Haworth.

Source information:
Birth, marriage and death records.
1901 and 1911 census.
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920.
Keighley News archives, Keighley Library.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
National Archives war diary for 10th Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment.

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