Alfred Bertie Humby

Date of birth: 1898
Place of birth: Northam, Southampton
Regiment: Royal Berkshire
Battalion: 1st
Rank / Service No: Private, 38467
Died: 3rd January 1918, aged 19 years
Buried: Hermies Hill British Cemetery, France (Plot I, Row F, Grave 29)

 

Alfred was the youngest of 5 siblings born to James and Sarah Ann Humby (nee Dibden), who married in Southampton in 1880.

 

The family latterly lived at 11 Summers Street in St. Mary’s.

 

Both parents were born in Southampton in 1861. James was only 43 when he died in the city in 1904 and Sarah passed away in 1917.

 

Siblings

Frederick James   b. 1881 Southampton   d. 1944 Southampton

Rosina Blanche   b. 1885 Southampton   d. 1895 Southampton

Lily Maud   b. 1891 Southampton   d. 1951 Southampton   Married William R. Long in Southampton in 1912.

William Robert   b. 1894 Southampton   d. 1940 Southampton   Married Winifred A. Harfield in Southampton in 1924.

Alfred Bertie

 

 

The battalion was formed in Aldershot in August 1914, under the command of the 6th Brigade in the 2nd Division.

 

They landed in Rouen on 13 August 1914 and, amongst other actions, took part in the Battle of Loos in September 1915 where the battalion lost 288 men in one day.

 

On 13 December 1915, the battalion was transferred to the 99th Brigade in the same Division.

 

During the Battle of the Somme, the battalion’s major action was on 27 July at Delville Wood where it lost a further 264 on that day alone.

 

The battalion had a relatively quiet latter half of 1916 in a rear area of the front.

 

By May 1917, the battalion was down to 2 officers (both wounded) and 94 other ranks. In the next 3 months, its strength was back up to 38 officers and 694 other ranks.

In late 1917, the battalion took part in the Battle of Cambrai where they again lost many men.

 

As the New Year broke, the battalion were stationed near the Canal Du Nord, a 59 mile-long canal in northern France.

 

After a peaceful couple of days, the Germans suddenly bombarded the Berkshire’s trenches. They then attacked in large numbers, securing some of the more forward trenches.

 

Surprisingly, only 2 servicemen died during this action, one of which was Alfred.

 

Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 3rd October 2016
Updated:

 

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