The Fallen of Ewhurst and Ellen's Green, Surrey  
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  Albert George Buck 

Private 1668,The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment
Transferred to Private 67257 146th Company Labour Corps
Killed in Action 22/03/1918, aged 34.

 

No Known Grave, but Remembered on :
Ewhurst War Memorial,  Memorial Plaque and Book of Remembrance
Arras Memorial to the Missing, France (Bay 10)

 

 

ALBERT GEORGE BUCK was born in Ewhurst in March 1884 (1), the son of George & Rosa Buck, innkeepers of the White Hart Inn (now White Hart Cottages, near the current Bull's Head public house. Albert's father died in 1906 and in 1911 Albert was living alone with his mother in the White Hart Inn and gave his occupation as postman.

Albert enlisted in the Army at Stoughton Barracks in Guildford, the depot of the Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment on 31st August 1914, at the age of 30 (2).

From the fact that Albert was not awarded a 1914 or 1915 Star, he must have arrived overseas on active service after the start of 1916. Albert served with 5th Infantry Labour Company of the Queen's (RWSR), probably arriving with them in France on 24th February 1917.

In April 1917 Albert was transferred to the Labour Corp. This Corp was formed in 1917 in order to relieve the tasks of supply and maintenance from the front line soldier which until this time was undertaken by soldiers who were "resting" out of the front line. It was manned by soldier who had been previously wounded, taken ill, or were unfit or too old for front line service on enlistment. (3) It is unclear why Albert was transferred into the Labour Corps, but it is likely that it was as the result of a reduction in his fitness due to injury or illness. Initially he served with 113 Company, moving later to 146 Company, possibly in September 1917. 146th Company were a general Labour Company and spent much of their time working on broad gauge and light railways, which were used to carry supplies to the front line.

On 21st March 1918 the Germans had launched a spring offensive along a 50 mile front. It is likely, therefore, that Albert was killed in action as a result of this attack in the Arras area. On this day 146th Company were in the area of Neuville.  Albert's body was never identified and he is remembered on the Arras Memorial in the Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery, Arras.


Pte Albert Buck, commemorated on the Arras Memorial to the Missing

Albert was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, and is incorrectly remembered as "Killed in Action at Ypres in 1917" in the Ewhurst Book of Remembrance".

 

 

Follow this Link to details about First World War Medals
 

 

Notes:
( 1) Free BDM and 1901 Census
( 2) Enlistment records of the Queen's (RWSR), held at the Surrey History Centre
( 3) Link to further information on the Labour Corps

Albert's service number whilst serving with the Queen's is given as 1668 in the Queen's Enlistment Register and the CWGC Register, but as 38228 on his Medal Record Card.

 

Other sources:

  • Book of Remembrance

  • Soldiers Died in the Great War

  • 1901 Census

  • Ivor Lee, via his excellent Labour Corps website
     

AEB 28/07/05

Andrew Bailey, Ewhurst, Surrey
andy@ewhurstfallen.co.uk
Copyrightę2005