Albert Jeffrey Humpreys was born in Bronington Flintshire on the 29th of October 1890 to Hester Humphreys age 19. On Albert’s birth certificate Hester was documented at the time as being unmarried and working as a domestic servant.
Later on the 1891 census it shows that Albert Jeffrey Humphreys was 5 months old and had been adopted by Elias and Martha Cartwright who were both aged 35 and living in Arowry, they also had another adopted child Anne Elizabeth Williams. Albert was still a Humphreys then but at some stage he must have taken the name Cartwright. This was before the laws governing adoption came into place.
Incidentally Hester later married William Cartwright from Hanmer at age 25 on 11th August 1896. and they had 9 children together. Elias Cartwright was indeed William’s Uncle. So both Hester and Albert became Cartwright’s. William was a widower who lost his first wife Mary Ann Price soon after she gave birth to their only son Elias Cartwright, who also died just aged 7 weeks old. ( Possibly named after William’s favourite uncle Elias Cartwright.)
Hester lived until the age of 71 and died on 28th December 1942. Her husband William died of flu on the 1st November 1918 age 47. Their first son George arrived home that day in his pyjamas and great coat, on Blighty leave from hospital but he was too late for his father’s funeral. Albert’s half brother George Cartwright lived in Hanmer and also fought in WW1 in the South Wales Borderers never knowing about Albert. Albert had lots of half brothers and sisters although sadly they do not seem to have been aware of their connection to Albert.
On the 1901 census we find Albert living on Overton Road, Hanmer age 10. It appears that he had a new adopted sister Alice Alberts age 2 from Whixall Shropshire. His other adopted sister Anne was not mentioned on the census at this address. Albert attended Bronington School with Alice.
Albert was no longer living with his adoptive parents on the 1911 census. Elias and Ann Cartwright were living on Hanmer Road in Tybroughton, Alice was age 12 and they seem to have adopted a William Henry Williams age 7 from Bronington. Both children were classed as boarders on the census. It appears that Elias and Ann Cartwright had adopted 4 children up to this point. Albert was aged 20 and living in Hereford, working as an odd man as it was written on the census. He wa one of 10 servants in a large house called Foxley in a place called Yazor which had at least 44 rooms. The Rev. George Horatio Davenport age 78 was his employer.
Somehow after his time working as an odd man Albert ended up living in South Wales. According to The Glamorgan Gazette Albert had been working at the Angelton Asylum in Bridgend South Wales for a period of 2 years and then in Ogmore Vale for 18 months. It does not state what his occupation was at Ogmore Vale.
It is possible that he met his sweetheart Priscilla Hopkin at Angelton who was registered as living at Angelton age 22 and had been listed on the 1911 census working as a kitchen maid. Her family home was 189. Bridgend Road which was within walking distance of Angelton.
Priscilla Hopkin was born on the 10th June 1889 in Aberkenfig Glamorgan, to Georgina and Thomas Hopkin a coal miner. Priscilla lost her father when she was aged 3 as Thomas was killed at Park Slip explosion a big coal mining disaster on August 26th 1892. He was 36 years old, leaving his wife Georgina with 7 children.
Albert and Priscilla married on April 24th 1915 at All Saint’s church Penyfai. Priscilla’s brother Edward John Hopkin and sister Annie Maria Hopkin were witnesses at the marriage. Albert 24 stated he was living at 189. Bridgend Road, Aberkenfig, (he Hopkin family home) and Priscilla, 26 at Angelton Asylum. Albert’s father was recorded as Elias Cartwright a farmer. They were only married a few days before Albert had to return to France , recovered from his wounds.
Priscilla and Albert never had any children and Priscilla never remarried. After the roads in the area were altered and 189 Bridgend Road was demolished, Priscilla moved to 154 Bridgend Road where she lived until 1977, after which records are sketchy. Priscilla and her siblings were living there in 1946 together until they eventually passed away. Edward Hopkin died in 1943 and Alice Hopkin in 1946. Priscilla and Edith Hopkin lived out their days there together. Priscilla died in March 1980 aged 90. A neighbour who remembers Priscilla and Edith said that they were known locally as the ‘Miss Hopkin’s’ and apparently they both worked hard at Angelton gaining promotion. Priscilla and Edith are not buried in the Hopkin family grave and as yet I have been unable to find out where they were buried.
The Glamorgan Gazette on Friday 29th October 1915. Source National Library of Wales.
Albert is not mentioned on the Aberkenfig war memorial, however there is an inscription on the Hopkin family grave in Smyrna Chapel Penyfai that reads
Pte Albert Cartwright
the beloved husband of Priscilla Cartwright
who died September 26 1915 aged 24 years
Interred at Lillers
The Army register of soldiers effects states that Albert was owed seven shillings and five pence and that the authorised amount of four pounds was sent to his widow Priscilla. This register also states that Albert died of his wounds at West Riding casualty clearing station.
Whilst researching Albert’s story I also learnt of another memorial, a small slate memorial inscribed with the names Albert Cartwright and Bertie Cartwright. This memorial was in a small wooden bus shelter on the Whitchurch road at Eglwys Cross. I thought that this was an interesting place for a memorial and I went to investigate, however when I found the bus shelter it was in a state of disrepair and the memorial was no longer there. Later I found that the memorial had been taken down, restored and in safe keeping awaiting the decision as to where it would live permanently. Apparently the memorial used to be in the Sunday School, when this was demolished it ended up in the bus shelter. It is unclear as yet who was responsible for this memorial. It is recorded on the County of Flint War Memorial cards that Albert’s address was Whitchurch Road, possibly his adopted parent’s address at the time and possibly the reason for the memorial being where it was.
Albert also appears in the Hanmer book of Remembrance, where every man who served in the forces from Hanmer is honoured. The book is elaborately and beautifully hand painted on every page. There is a short description of each service man’s role in WW1 whether they were a survivor or fallen and a photograph. Date and place of death of the fallen are also recorded. There is a copy of the book in St Chad’s church in Hanmer and the original is at Flintshire Record office.
Information about Albert’s grave in Lillers can be found on the CWGC and records show that Mrs P. Cartwright 189 Bridgend Road, Aberkenfig, Bridgend, Glam wanted the following inscription on the headstone in Lillers Communal Cemetery where Albert rests:
WE MISS HIM MOST
WHO LOVED HIM BEST
FOR EVER MOURNED
BY WIFE AND FAMILY
As the researcher I have a family connection to Albert and I would like to thank Jane Kay who also has a family connection for her help in researching Albert’s story. The Glamorgan and the Bridgend Family History Societies have been most helpful. Also, thank you to Bill Barlow from St Chad’s Church for answering my never ending questions regarding Hanmer War Memorial.