Gunner Albert Coomber

Thank you to Patricia Brazier for the following research.

Albert was born in 1881 in Holmwood; his parents are Thomas, a Labourer and Alice. His family are living at No. 6 Spring Cottages. He has three brothers; James born in 1889, Thomas born in 1893 and Ernest born in 1901. He also has five sisters, Alice born 1884, Annie born 1886 Ellen born 1890, Amy born in 1895 and Edith born in 1899. They were all baptised in the parish church of Holmwood.

Albert’s parents married on 25th March 1882, also at the parish church of Holmwood. Thomas was 28 and Alice (nee) Smith was 19.

In the 1891 census the family are still living at Spring Cottages, Thomas is an Agricultural Labourer, Albert is aged 8 and at school.

In the 1901 census Albert’s family are still living at Spring Cottages but Albert is not with them. Thomas is a Gardener; the younger children are at school.

Albert married Ellen Grace Hines in Poplar, London in December of 1908. In the 1911 census he is living with Ellen at 66 Upper Fourth Street, Poplar, Albert is a Railway porter, he joined the Chalk Farm Branch of the National Union of Railwaymen in 1913. They had one child Blanche; she was born in March Quarter of 1911 and sadly died in the same quarter.

Albert’s medal card shows that he qualified for the 1914 Star. The 1914 Star, often referred to as the Mons Star was given to soldiers who served in France and Belgium between 5th August and 22 November 1914. These soldiers were both already serving with the Army when the war started, or they had previously served and were in the Army Reserve.

Albert died of Phthisis (Tuberculosis) on 18th April 1916

Albert Coomber Wandsworth Cemetery Roll of Honour © CWGC.org
Albert Coomber Wandsworth Cemetery Roll of Honour © CWGC.org

He died in the London General Hospital and is buried in Wandsworth Cemetery in a special plot for Military Personnel.

Albert’s brothers Thomas and Ernest, both served in the Royal Navy. Thomas served during the First World War. Both survived. Ernest joined after the War and served until 1928. James joined the Royal Engineers in November 1915 and served for the duration of the War.

Albert’s father died in 1912. His mother and his brother James stayed in Holmwood. Surrey Electoral Registers up until 1945 show that James is still living at 11 Spring Cottages in 1938, with his Wife Ada, whom he married in 1913. His mother Alice is still living at Mill Bottom Cottages with Thomas in 1927.

Born                             Holmwood
Lived                             London

Son of                          Alice and Thomas Coomber of 6 Spring Cottages, Holmwood, Dorking
Husband of                  Ellen Grace Hines

Regiment                     Royal Horse Artillery
Number                       13508

Date of Death              18th April 1916
Place of Death             London
Cause of Death            Died of Tuberculosis

Age                              35

Cemetery                    Wandsworth Cemetery, London