Old Silhillian, Private Albert Edward Else, was killed in action on 14th October 1918 whilst serving with the Army Service Corps, attached to the 251st Siege Battery, Ammunition Column, Royal Garrison Artillery. He was 21 years old and died at Remy Siding, Belgium.
He was born in Small Heath, Birmingham on 4th November 1896, and was the fourth of the six children (two sons, four daughters) of parents John William and Florence (née Hatton) who had married in 1888. One of the children – Dorothy (born and died 1895) – died as an infant.
The family moved from Bordesley to “Ivanhoe”, Alderbrook Road, Solihull between 1901-1911, before moving to “Oakhurst”, Oxford Road, Acocks Green sometime between 1911-1916. They remained at the house until Florence died in 1941, with the house being sold at auction in January 1942. John William Else died in 1930.
Albert was educated at Wellesbourne House School, Acocks Green before attending Hanley Castle Grammar School 1907-1911 and then joining Solihull School 1911-1913. Solihull School during the First World War by John Loynton notes that Albert Else was a good all-rounder, being a promising and good fielder, playing for the First XI football team, being vice-captain of the Hockey First XI, and passing the Oxford Local Examinations.
After leaving school, he joined his father’s firm, J W Else & Co, manufacturers of case-hardening materials. He was called up to the Army in February 1916 but was posted to the Reserves until he was mobilised on 23rd April 1917, joining his regiment at Grove Park, London the following day.
His brother, John William Henry Else (1893-1952), also attended Wellesbourne House and Hanley Castle schools before joining the family business. He volunteered for war service, becoming Company Quarter Master Sergeant with the Army Service Corps and serving in France and Egypt.
Private Albert Edward Else is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium and is commemorated on war memorials at St Mary’s Church, Acocks Green, Solihull School, and Hanley Castle Grammar School.
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