THREE British soldiers from Redditch died on September 3, 1916, all of them on the Somme battle front.
Albert Andrew Ainge had served two years in the Midland Territorials before joining up, aged 25, on September 6, 1914, just a month after Britain had declared war on Germany.
A picture of him can be gained from his medical records – he was 5’ 4” tall and weighed just 115lbs (just over 52kg) – and served in the 11th Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle Brigade, being sent out to France on July 1, 1915, landing at Boulogne.
The book ‘Remembering Redditch’s Fallen Heroes’ tells how the former bicycle builder received five lashes for going absent without leave for over an hour on January 29, 1916.
The 10th Battalion had already seen action on the Somme during the Battle of Delville Wood in July 1916 before being brought back into the line for the Battle of Guillemont.
This battle, from September 3-6, has gone down in the bloody annals of the First World War as one of costly failure indicative of the incompetence of Britain’s war generals.
Pte Ainge, who had married in 1909 and in the 1911 census was reported living at 142 Lodge Road with his wife, mother and stepfather, was reported missing on September 3, 1916 and is listed as having died of his wounds.
He is remembered on the war memorial at St Stephen’s Church.
William Hollington was born in Redditch in 1879, the family living at 8 Monks Build, Ipsley. By 1901 he was living in Gloucester and pre-war worked as a cycle fitter.
By the time of the Somme he was a sergeant in the 6th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.
He also saw action at the Battle of Guillemont and he too was killed on September 3. He is remembered at the Thiepval Memorial in France and at St George’s war memorial in Redditch.
Albert William Street was born in 1897, the youngest of Henry and Lucy Street’s four children. The family lived at Astwood Bank and Albert followed his dad into the needle industries.
He was killed in action in France on September 3, 1916 while serving with the 3rd Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment. He was 19 years old and is remembered at Astwood Bank war memorial.
With thanks to Remembering Redditch’s Fallen Heroes.