Tuesday, October 07, 2014
G/17915 Pte Albert Thompsett, 12th Royal Sussex Regiment
Albert Henry Thompsett was born at Haywards Heath, Sussex in 1898, his birth registered at Cuckfield in the June quarter of that year. He appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales as a two year old infant living at Petlands Gardens, Haywards Heath with his family. The household in 1901 comprised his father, Albert Thompsett, aged 26 and working as a labourer; his mother, Kate Henrietta Thompsett (aged 22) and his baby sister, Lilian Bessie Thompsett (aged one).
Albert almost certainly joined up under age. Soldiers Died in The Great War notes that he enlisted at Haywards Heath and he first appears in Chailey’s Parish Magazine in January 1916 where it is noted that he is serving with the 2/4th Royal Sussex Regiment in England. His medal index card (below, courtesy of Ancestry) notes his 4th Battalion number which dates to November 1915
In October 1916, the parish magazine reports that Albert Thompsett is now a lance corporal serving with the 12th Royal Sussex in France but in April 1918 he is noted as missing. This information is then repeated monthly up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919. According to the Commonwealth War Graves’ Commission’s Debt of Honour register, G/17915 Lance Corporal Albert Thompsett died on Wednesday 3rd April 1918 whilst serving with the 11th Royal Sussex Regiment. His body was not recovered and he is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial in France.
I am still not aware of Albert's connection with Chailey. He is commemorated on both Chailey’s war memorial and the roll of honour inside All Saints Church, Plumpton Green, and the 1911 census notes that the family was living at Station Road, Plumpton Green. I am grateful to J Allfey for sending me the photo which appears on this blog and which shows Albert, his mother and, possibly, his grandmother, seated.