Albert Theodore Vardy

Rank Second Lieutenant
Service No Unknown
Date of Death 04/07/1916
Age 27
Regiment/Service Royal Warwickshire Regiment 2nd Battalion
Cemetery Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz. This is some 8 kilometres east of the town of Albert, France.

 

Albert was born on 7th August 1888 in Birmingham to Albert Richard Vardy MA (1841-1900) and his wife, Isabel Mary (1847-1925). He was the youngest of three children, with older siblings Winfred J (1873-1931) and Constance (1885-1899). His father was a clergyman and president of King Edward’s School in Birmingham from 1883 until his death in 1900, less than a year after his daughter Constance died. On the St Paul’s memorial, Albert’s initials are listed as W J but these were the initials of his sister!

At the time of the 1891 Census, the family were living with four servants in Lapworth, a village south of Solihull. His father’s occupation was ‘school master and clerk in holy orders’. At the time of the 1901 Census. Albert was living with his widowed mother and older sister in Edgbaston, Birmingham. Between 1899 and 1900, Albert experienced the death of this father and one of his sisters.

Albert was educated at Shrewsbury School and, in 1907, entered Pembroke College, Cambridge, as a classics scholar. At the time of the census in April 1911, he was living at the Post Office in Castleton, Derbyshire, describing his profession as 'Graduate in Residence (Cambridge University).

At the outbreak of war, Albert was working as a school master and he enlisted on 18th September 1914. Previously he been rejected as unfit for the military due to his short-sightedness (although the medical report on his enlistment refers to 'myopic: vision with glasses normal'). He initially served as a Private in the 16th Battalion (Public Schools’) of the Middlesex Regiment, being promoted to Lance Corporal on 28th January 1915 but reverting to a Private at his request on 23rd March 1915.

While stationed at Woldingham, Surrey, Albert applied for a commission. This was granted on 6th May 1915 when he became a 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) in the 4th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. On the same day he was ordered to join ‘at once’ his unit at Portsmouth. He was confirmed as a 2nd Lieutenant on 20th December 1915 and transferred to the 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshires. He died on the fourth day of the Battle of the Somme in the early stages of the Battle of Albert (1st-13th July 1916) which included the capture of Montauban. A letter, dated 11th February 1918, stated that he was ‘buried about 2,000 yards east of Montauban, east of Albert’. 

At the time of his death, Albert’s mother was living in Rowington, Warwick, and his sister was living at 7 Platt’s Lane, Hampstead. His last recorded address was 19 Bisham Gardens, Highgate. His estate was valued at £232 6s 8d, which went to his mother.