Albert Henry Selby was born in
On 9th July 1916, Albert was appointed paid lance-corporal and on 30th of that month joined K Cable Section. He continued his work with the Royal Engineers in
France and until
12th April 1917 when he died of wounds at Number 33 Casualty Clearing
Station. A telegram (undated) was sent
to Albert’s parents in Chailey: Belgium
Regret to inform you Officer Commanding 33 Casualty Clearing Station
reports 13 April 20682 A H Selby
RE died 12th April,
shell wounds multiple. France
On Friday April 27th 1917 the East Sussex News also reported his death (and also spelt his name incorrectly).
We regret to report the death of 21 year old L/Cpl Albert Selsby of Signals Section RE, the son of Mrs Selsby of North Common. L/Cpl Selsby joined the army six and a half years ago, went to
August 1914 and was involved in the Mons Retreat
and the battles of the Marne and The Aisne. Writing to his mother the Colonel stated, “I
deeply regret to have to tell you your son died of wounds this afternoon (12
April). I saw him shortly before he
passed away and it may be little consolation to know he was not in pain. He asked me to write to you. He did not realize that his case was hopeless
and so he did not send any messages. I
can’t tell you how much I regret his loss.
His work out here has been invaluable and I was bringing his name to the
notice of the Corps Commander, with a view to his getting official recognition.
He set a very high standard by his
devotion to duty, and I can only say it is a loss to the Company which will be
difficult to replace. Please accept my
In May 1917, Chailey Parish Magazine added his name to its roll of honour (still mis-spelling his name as Selsby). The following month, an effects’ form listed out the pathetically few possessions sent back home to Albert’s parents: photos, leather belt, letter, cotton bag.
Medal index card courtesy of Ancestry. My thanks to Colin Roberts for the photo of Bethune Town Cemetery.