Albert Frederick Lindsay

Rank Private
Service No 34649
Date of Death 20/07/1916
Age 20
Regiment/Service Royal Welsh Fusilliers 10th Batallion
Memorial Thiepval Memorial, France. This memorial to the missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916.

 

Albert was born in 1895 in Finchley. His parents were Frederick Lindsay (b.1867), a constable with the Metropolitan police, and Margaret (b.1868) and he had one younger brother, George (1898-1984). In 1901 the family were living at Park Villa, Finchley Park, North Finchley. In 1911 the family were living at Oakland Villa, Gruneisen Road, Finchley and Albert worked as a bookstall assistant.

Albert enlisted at Holborn in central London and as a member of the 10th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was part of the 76th Brigade of the 3rd Division, he arrived in the Somme sector of the Western Front in early July 1916 from the north of France. The battalion was ordered to take a position in Delville Wood on the 20th July (without reconnaissance) and to push through it from Princes Street. As so many troops (including part of a South African brigade) were involved in such a small area the order was given that there should be no firing. Reaching the wood at 2.45am, they were misled by the 53rd Brigade Guide (some declared that he was drunk) and directed to Buchanan Street right in the German lines. Suddenly the whole wood seemed to be full of Germans. The Welsh encountered heavy machine gun fire and many of them were surrounded. Close quarter fighting followed in which Albert was killed.

The St Luke’s Finchley monthly magazine of November 1916, includes Albert in the roll of honour, recording that he ‘was not a member of the congregation, but lived in the parish. He enlisted early in the war and was a great favourite in his Company.’

 In 1918 Albert’s parents were living at 79 Lichfield Grove, Finchley, just half a mile from St Luke’s Church in Mountfield Road.