This soldier was proving to be elusive until we were contacted by a family historian who had ‘found’ an A H Anderson on her family tree. She was able to provide us with excellent information so that now we can tell his story in more detail though there remain some anomalies.
He was born in Sittingbourne, Milton in Kent in 1888.
Albert we believe although cannot prove for sure, is listed in the 1901 census aged 3 and still in Sittingbourne living as part of a very large (and by 1901 a motherless) family. His father James was 39 and a labourer in a brickfield. There were 7 children (Charlie 14, Carrie 12, Harriet 8, William 7, John 5 Albert 3 and Anne 9. There was a resident housekeeper – Elizabeth Sutton a 37 year old married woman
The 1911 census records that an Albert H Anderson was a lodger with the Jones family of 45 Pownalls Row, Maes y Dre, Mold. This person was 22 years old and he had been born in London, Middlesex. This place of birth is wrong (though vaguely in the right geographical direction). He worked in the Tin Plate Works in Mold. Although we cannot be sure it is him, this might well be the first evidence that links him to Mold. Also living in Mold in 1911 was one Sarah Rowlands a 20 year old who worked ‘at home’ for the Tin plate works. Her address was Milford street Mold.
We can be sure of his next appearance. In the first quarter of 1914 he got married in Worksop ( Nottinghamshire). He was described on the certificate as a 24 year old batchelor – a colliery labourer whose father James was a garden labourer. His bride was Sarah Rowlands a 25 year old spinster who was a pedlar. Her father, John Rowlands was a hawker.
Albert enlisted in Rotherham and his medal card tells us that he first entered a theatre of war on 18th March 1915 and was killed on 8th May 1915.
Having been married for about a year, Sarah Anderson was now a widow. Three years later she remarried in Sheffield and became the wife of William John Berriman.
There is more to this story that helps us link Albert A Anderson to Mold. Sarah was born Sarah Rowlands. The Rowlands family was a travelling one and therefore not always easy to keep track of although we know that they eventually settled in Milford street, Mold. Sarah had several siblings including two brothers – John Rowlands and James Rowlands. They were both killed in WW1 and both are listed on the Mold Memorial.
Albert is on the Mold Memorial but so far we have not traced a Flintshire Roll of Honour card for him. He also appears on the War Memorial in Dinnington, South Yorkshire which is where he settled after leaving Mold and after his marriage to Sarah Rowlands. He worked in the local colliery there.
Grateful thanks to Mrs C Senior – Sarah’s grandaughter who has worked tirelessly with her husband on unlocking the story of this family. Without her we would never have made the connection with the Rowlands brothers. Thank you for sharing the story of your family and its sacrifice of three young men to the ‘Great’War.