Coleman, Albert (Cartwright, Adelbert)

This soldier has been very difficult to identify. All there was was was his name on the Hawarden memorial and an inscription on a gravestone in St Deniol’s Churchyard in Hawarden. There seemed to be no records available of an Albert Coleman who died in the war.

In Loving memory of Edward Coleman of Aston

Who died October 1905 aged 73.

May he rest in peace.

Also of

Pte A Coleman grandson of the above

Died in France 1916 aged 33 yrs.

For King and Country.

( Imperial War Museum – Memorial Project, Current location -West of church. – St Deiniol Churchyard, Denomination: Church in Wales
Description – Addition to family gravestone. – Inscription)

See grave photograph below.

If Albert Coleman was the grandson of Edward Coleman,  he had to be the son of one of Edward’s children.  He was born in 1883 according to the grave inscription above.

After an appeal for help, Ray Masters contacted us with what he believes is the solution to the mystery. We are very grateful for his quite amazing detective work. Many thanks Ray.

The Edward Coleman named on the grave had a son  (his eldest son from his first marriage)  who was George Coleman. George married Emily Cartwright in 1883.  Emily had given birth to a child before the marriage. This child was legally named Adelbert Cartwright but he was baptised in Coppenhall Cheshire as Adelbert Coleman.

The census of 1891 records Adelbert Cartwright at 28 Rigg Street Coppenhall, Crewe, Cheshire with his Aunt and Uncle. Head of the household was George Maddock a 37 year old Boiler Maker and his wife Esther who was 32. They had a 1 year old daughter Amelia and also listed was their 7 year old nephew,  Adelbert Cartwright aged 7.  Esther’s sister Clara Cartwright aged 36, was also in the household.

The census of 1901 places this family still at 8 Rigg Street Coppenhall,  Crewe, Cheshire.  George 47 and Esther then had a 4 year old son named Sydney. There was no sign of Amelia. Adelbert Cartwright their nephew was by then 17 years old and his occupation was ‘Steam hammer driver’.

The census of 1911 lists a family in Brook Cottages, Aston,  Hawarden. It records Albert Hallows aged 35,  a Wagon carpenter in the iron works who had been born in Queensferry. His wife of 15 years was Sarah Hallows aged 35. She had been born in Crewe.  (We believe that she was the youngest daughter of the Edward Coleman named on the grave). Also listed in their household was nephew Albert Cartwright who was 27, single and a Blacksmith’s Striker in the Iron works. He had been born in Crewe.  Adelbert had become Albert.

UK Soldiers Who died in The Great War 1914 -19, accessible on includes an entry for Albert Cartwright. It gives us all the military details listed above left. It adds that he was born in Coppenhall, Crewe and that he enlisted in Crewe. This source tells us he was killed in action.

His medal index card also on ancestry lists his three medals and adds that his first Theatre of war was France and he entered it on  the 19th July 1915. He was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. The first day of the Battle of the Somme.

The Register of Soldier’s effects in which the army calculated what moneys were owed to deceased soldiers,  includes an entry for Albert Cartwright. It says he was ‘Presumed killed in action’ on 1st July 1916. His Mother Emily Coleman received a total of £22.. 0s .. 11d in two separate payments.

It is his Commonwealth War Grave Certificate (see link left)  that completes the circle. The inscription says that he was the…

“Son of Mrs Emily Coleman of 37 Evans St, Crewe.”

The wider family history. 

Before Ray Masters came up with the  solution to Albert’s story, above,  we had done a lot of family history in an attempt to figure things out. We leave this family history on this page as it provides some context for Albert’s story.

Edward and Bathsheba Coleman

We know from parish records that Edward Coleman was married to Bathsheba Coleman on the 21st August 1886 in St. Deniol’s Church (Flintshire (Mold) C106/02/E273). They had both been married previously and had both been widowed.  Edward had at the time of the marriage, lived in Crewe Cheshire where he was a Boilerman.  Bathsheba Weigh, 56,  (formerly Griffiths)  lived in Aston, Hawarden.  They both had children from their previous marriages.

The census of 1881 tells us that Bathsheba had previously been married to Albert Weigh. They lived in Sandhills, Hawarden. He was 59 and a Coalminer who had been born in Wood Lane (Hawarden?). She was 53 and had been born in Ewloe. Five of their children were listed in the household. Thomas was 30 and Joseph was 18. They were both unmarried and both Coal miners. Sarah was 20, John was 14 and Jane was 12.

The census of 1891 records Edward Coleman living in Aston, Hawarden. He was 59 years old and was a Boilerman who had been born in Hemel Hempstead. His wife was Bathsheba Coleman. She was 61 and had been born in Hawarden. Also listed in the household was John Weigh, a stepson who was 24. He was a Tailor who had been born in Hawarden.  Also Sarah E Coleman a stepdaughter aged 15. She was a scholar who had been born in Crewe, Cheshire.

On the 1901 census, Edward Coleman was 69 and was then a Farmer. His wife Bathsheba was, 72.  Also listed were a married stepdaughter, Hannah Jones who was  48 and  John Weigh an unmarried  stepson, who was a 32 year old  Tailor.

Edward Coleman of Aston, was  buried on the 23rd October 1905 age 73 years and  Bathsheba Coleman of Holly House, Aston, was buried on the 19th October 1911 age 83 years. They were both deceased years before Albert died in the war. Who added his name to the family grave?

Edward and his first wife Sarah Ann Coleman

In an attempt to learn more about our soldier Albert Coleman, we have examined census information about this extended and complex family. We know that Albert was the grandson of Edward Coleman so we have tried to trace backwards, the Coleman family.

In the census of 1881, Edward Coleman aged 49 and a Boilerman,  was living at 189 West Street,  Coppenhall, Crewe. At that time his wife Sarah was still living. She was 47 and came originally from Buckinghamshire. Their listed children were George (Very badly written) who was 23. Webster was 13 and Sarah Coleman was 5.  (On this census the spelling of the name is Colman)

In the census of 1871 the Colemans were living at 23 Oakley Street, Coppenhall, Crewe. Edward was 39 and a Boilermaker. Sarah Ann Coleman was 38. Their listed children were George 13 Eliza 11, Louisa 8, Miriam 8 and Walter 2.

In 1861 this family was living in Cosgrove where they were lodgers in the home of a Tailor, Charles Baldwin and his family. Edward Coleman was 29 and a Boilermaker.Sarah Ann Coleman was 27. Their son George was 3 (born in Cosgrove) and daughter Anneliza was just 1. There were three other lodgers in this household.

If Albert Coleman was the grandson of Edward Coleman,  he had to be the son of one of Edward’s children.  He was born in 1883 according to the grave inscription above. was contacted February 2020 by Andrew Addison who told us that he was the Great Great Grandson of Edward Coleman and the Great Nephew of Albert/Adelbert Cartwright and he wanted to offer some information, here it is below:-

“My name is Andrew Addison and I am the Great Great Grandson of Edward Coleman and the Great Nephew of Albert/Adelbert Cartwright. I would like to offer some information about the family that you may find useful with regard to your research. 

Your census returns regarding Albert and Edward are quite accurate apart from the 1881 census for 189 West Street Crewe. I have no knowledge of a James and Webster. Edward Coleman had two sons, George and Walter. 

I asked my Mother why Uncle Albert used Great Grandmothers maiden name to join up in WW1. My Mother was told that Albert at 32 was too old to join up so used the Cartwright name. However the age limit at that time was 41. 

Adelbert was born to Emily Cartwright on the 14th May 1883 at 10 Adelaide Street Crewe which was her Father Albert’s family home. No Father is listed on the birth certificate which I have a copy. 

Emily Cartwright married George Coleman oldest son of Edward Coleman in August 1883. 

As far as I know Adelbert did not live with his mother but was living with his Aunty Esther Maddock nee Cartwright in Crewe then at Hawarden with his Aunty Sarah Hollows nee Coleman (Edwards Daughter). 

On the 13th October 1903 Adelbert is using the name Albert Cartwright to join the 4th Battalion Cheshire Regiment and on his attestation papers his Father is listed as George Cartwright. There is no George Cartwright in the family. In 1904 Albert is medically discharged, I cant make out what his condition was on the form. 

Albert Cartwright 11776, 9th Bn., Cheshire Regiment was killed on 01 July 1916 Age 33 during the battle of the Somme. Albert is listed on the Crewe war memorial. 

Edward Coleman had two other Grandsons John born 1885 and Walter Sidney born 1895 who served with the 1st/9th Bn., The King’s (Liverpool Regiment) and who died on 02 August 1917 Age 22. 

The following is purely my opinion as to how Albert Cartwright is linked to Edward Coleman based on my research and evidence gathered. 

As there is no mention of Albert’s Father I did think it may be possible that he was Esther’s son as he lived most of his life with her and her family. Esther’s sister Emily, for whatever reason had Albert registered to her. 

I do not know why Albert is on Edward Coleman’s gravestone as by all accounts Albert was a Cartwright and not a Coleman. Also why are Edwards Grandsons, John and Walter Sidney Coleman, by blood not on his gravestone? 

Edward’s wife Sarah Ann died in May 1883 the same month and year as Albert’s birth. Soon after Edward left for Hawarden. 

George Coleman and Emily Cartwright were married in August 1883 4 months after Alberts birth. 

Could it be possible that Edward Coleman may have actually been Alberts father which could be the reason Edward left Crewe after his wife’s passing in 1883 and possibly his son George did the right thing and married Emily.” 

Many thanks to Andrew.

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