LANCE BOMBARDIER ALBERT WILLIAM BATES
ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
29TH OCTOBER 1918 AGE 28
BURIED: AWOINGT BRITISH CEMETERY, FRANCE
In 1914 Albert Bates was a regular soldier serving with the 27th Brigade Royal Field Artillery. In the summer of 1914 the brigade was in Ireland. Mobilised immediately on the outbreak of war it was sent to France, arriving on 19 August just fifteen days later. Bates died of wounds received in action 0n 29 October 1918, thirteen days before the war ended
He had served throughout the war, transferring at some point to the 37th Trench Mortar Battery Royal Field Artillery, formed in May 1916. In October 1918 this was part of the 37th Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division. By now the war was a war of movement, of pursuit, as the Allies pushed the Germans ever eastwards. On 23 October the Division crossed the River Scarpe at St Amand and four days later they had arrived at the Scheldt Canal.
It's not possible to tell when Bates was wounded but he died on 29 October, the day before the 12th Division was withdrawn for rest. The war was over before it went back into the line.
Bates' wife, Florence May Bates, chose his inscription. The couple cannot have been married long as Florence May Firman only applied for a marriage licence on 24 November 1917.
Florence Bates described her husband as 'one of England's unknown heroes'. As someone who served for 1,532 days and died just one day before he would have been safe, Albert Bates deserves to be rescued from obscurity.