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  • This photo was originally published in the Worksop Guardian.
Courtesy of Robert Illett
Person Details
Worksop, Notts
Albert Squires (nicknamed (‘Tran’) was the son of Mrs. Elizabeth Savage of 69, Westgate, Worksop and the husband since the Autumn of 1913 of Sarah, with whom he had set up home on Allen Street. Albert’s father had died at an early age but his widow remarried Frederick Savage, a Coal Hewer. At their home at 69, Westgate they brought up the three sons of her first marriage and two sons and a daughter of the new union. As a younger man Albert had worked at the pit but soon decided on a soldier’s life signing up as a regular in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. By 1914 he had completed his service with the colours and was home working again as a collier at Manton. Pit work, no doubt, because of its comradeship and the mutual support given in a dangerous environment appealed to many former serviceman. Because he was still on the reserve Albert was immediately recalled to the Army on the outbreak of war and reported to the KOYLI depot at Pontefract. Having been pronounced fit for service and issued with a new uniform, including new boots, he was send with a total of 618 reservists to join the 1st battalion in Dublin. This number of reservists meant than they provided more than half the total strength of the battalion. The battalion arrived at Le Havre in France on the 16th August 1914 as part of the 13th Brigade of the 5th Division. The 5th was one of the two infantry divisions in 11 Corps, now under the command of General Sir. Horace Smith-Dorrien, and with 1 Corps ( General Sir. Douglas Haig) formed the infantry contingent of the British Expeditionary Force. Forming up at the Belgian town of Mons on the left of the French Armies the British engaged with the Germans at Mons when Albert was part of the force holding the line of the Herbieres-Mariette canal before the BEF were forced to retreat to conform with the retreat of the French on their right. The retreat covered two hundred miles in 13 days over French paved roads. An infantryman has a close and intimate relationship with his boots, as indeed they do with him, which can only be acquired by breaking them in over a period of time.Time had not been given to the reservists in respect of their new issue. Apart from the obvious strain of the retreat in itself Albert and his colleagues suffered agonies from the damage caused to their feet by the new boots. 5th Division took part in the holding battle at Le Cateau to prevent the Germans crashing into the rest of the BEF when Albert would have realised, if he had done so before, what this war was all about as his battalion lost 18 officers and 540 men at Le Cateau on the 26th August. The retreat ended at Villeneuve to the North East of Paris. Following the French counterstroke at the Battle of the Marne the Allies endeavoured to push back the Germans and the so called ‘Race to the Sea’ caused the trench line to be formed as the armies fought actions to a stalemate as they tried to outflank each other. As part of this process Albert Squires and his battalion found themselves at Lannoy in Northern France on the 18th October when an advance on Chateau Wood failed as the battalions on either flank failed to conform so the battalion came under fire from both flanks and was forced to retire with loses of 17 killed and 182 wounded. Albert Squire was one of those killed. His body was never recovered, or at least identified, but he is remembered by have his name appear on the Le Touret Memorial. Sarah Squires remarried a young Whitwell man in the Spring of 1919 with whom she started her own family. Robert Ilett 2014.
18 Oct 1914
1562455 - CWGC Website
2nd Bn King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
See also Family Historry Private Albert Squires Worksop Guardian 20 Nov 1914 News was received on Sunday morning by Mrs A Squires of Allen street, Worksop, of the death of her husband, Pte Albert Squires, of the K.O.Y.L.I. The sad news was somewhat belated. As the Government intimation, which also bore the usual expression of the Kings sympathy, showed that he was killed in action in France on Oct. 18th. Pte Squires, who was well known in Worksop, and amongst his immediate friends as “Tran”, served 3 years in the K.O.Y.L.I., but had been away from the colours eight or nine years. His service as a reservist were, requisitioned by the Government, almost at the beginning of the war, and has been through much of the fighting. He is a son of Mrs Savage, of Norfolk Street, who has two other sons and a son-in-law at the front, and another of her sons left on Tuesday. Pte Squires, who was about 31 years of age, leaves a widow but no children. He had only been married about two years. Last letter home:- Private Squires’ last letter to his wife is dated Oct 15th and at that time he was, according to his letter, in the best of health. “I received your letter” , he says, “on Sunday October 11th and it is a very good photo of you. I keep having a look at it. It is the first chance I have had time to write since I got your letter….The boys keep getting letters and parcels here, so if you want to send me anything I shall get it in about six days. I should like a Sunday paper sending, and I have no writing paper. It is very hard to get here. A bit of tobacco would come in useful. We get it issued to us, but we don’t know how long we have to wait for it. I shall never forget the 14th of this month. I think we shall be home for Xmas, all being well. We get something good to eat to say we are at the front. It’s a long while since I had a good sleep. Roll on, Worksop! I hope we all have good luck. I haven’t drawn any money since I have been out here. I am in the best of spirits. Give my best love to my mother and all at home. Tell Jimmy I am T.T. Keep writing; don’t wait for me writing, from your ever-loving Albert. I am always thinking of you. Good Luck”. Then follows a number of crosses. Mrs Squires kept on writing, but alas! There was no reply. Her husband was killed three days after he wrote the letter given above. His wife and mother beg to thank their neighbours and friends for the kind sympathy they have shown them in their bereavement.
Commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, France
Remembered on


  • This photo was originally published in the Worksop Guardian.
Courtesy of Robert Illett
    Albert Squires - This photo was originally published in the Worksop Guardian. Courtesy of Robert Illett