Lamb A.

ALBERT LAMB (1885-1916)

17342 Private Albert Lamb, 7th battalion, the East Yorkshire Regiment was killed in action 16 February 1916 and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.  He was 32 years old [1] and is commemorated on the Cockfield War Memorial.

Family Details

Albert Lamb was born c.1885 at Butterknowle.  To date, his parents have not been identified but his grandparents were Robert and Mary Lamb who lived at the Slack.  Albert had 2 brothers, Thomas William[2] and Bertie.[3]  In 1901, Albert, Thomas and Bertie lived with their uncle, Charles Lamb and his sisters, Hannah and Mary at Bowes Hill in the Parish of Lynesack & Softley.  Charles worked as a coke drawer, 20 year old Thomas was a coal miner (hewer) and 16 year old Albert worked as a coal miner (putter).[4]

Albert married Edith Annie Saltmarsh in July 1904 [5] and they had 5 children:

  • Hannah Jane born July 1904
  • Frederick 1907-1912 [6]
  • Mary Ada born 17 July 1909
  • Ralph born 7 March 1911
  • Albert born 11 April 1914 [7]

By 1911, the family lived at 36 Burnt Houses near Cockfield where Albert worked as a coal miner (hewer).[8]

Service Details

Albert Lamb enlisted 22 February 1915 when aged 30 years and 7 months into the East Yorkshire Regiment being given the regimental number 17348.  He was a coal miner.[9]  He underwent a medical examination 22 February 1915.  He was 5ft 2½” tall and weighed 140 lbs.[10] He was mobilized 24 February 1915[11] and entered France 13 July 1915.[12]  Private A. Lamb served a total of 360 days:

  • At home: 22 February 1915 to 12 July 1915…….141 days
  • France: 13 July 1915 to 16 February 1916……….219 days [13]

The 7th (Service) Battalion, the East Yorkshire Regiment was formed in September 1914 at Beverley as part of K2, Kitchener’s New Army and came under the orders of the 50th Brigade, 17th (Northern) Division.  The Division landed in France 14 July 1915.[14]  The 50th Brigade consisted of:

  • 10th, West Yorkshire Regiment
  • 7th, East Yorkshire Regiment
  • 7th, Yorkshire Regiment
  • 7th, York & Lancaster Regiment left March 1915
  • 6th, Dorsetshire Regiment joined March 1915
  • 50th Machine Gun Company joined February 1916 and left for the 17th MG Battalion February 1918
  • 50th Trench Mortar Battery formed June 1916

In July 1915, the 17th Division landed at Boulogne and concentrated at St. Omer then moved to the Ypres area.

15 and 16 February 1916: the 17th Division saw action to the south-east of Ypres on the Comines Canal known as Actions of the Bluff. [15]

The War Diary records that between 1 and 6 February it was “in rest” at Recques.[16]

7 February: St. Omer to Reninghelst

8 – 11 February: in rest at Reninghelst

12 February: Battalion ordered to “stand on account of attack” on the left sector.

13 February: Battalion “stood to” for 2 hours

14 February: another warning that the Battalion may be required.

15 February:  12.45am, Battalion “stood to” and at 2.00am marched to Brigade HQ at Woodcote Farm arriving 5.20am.  They marched through a severe blizzard.  9.45pm, the Head of Dorset Regiment arrived at Battalion HQ – bombs issued to Dorset Regiment, orders issued to consolidate the trenches they now held to guard against possible counter-attack from the enemy.  Special instructions were given to the Bombing Parties (Operation No.36).

The enemy was holding New Year Trench at the east end of the Bluff, Loop Trench, trenches 29, 30, 31, 32 and 100 yards of the south end of trench 33.  At 9.00pm, 51st Brigade to attack the above line.  52nd Brigade to co-operate by attacking the east end of the Bluff and New Year Trench, the Crater and working round towards the Loop Trench and trench 29.  At 8.00pm the Divisional Artillery and the H.A.R. to open a barrage on the enemy’s old trenches which would increase in intensity by 8.55pm.  8.30pm trench mortars to fire on trenches 30, 31 and rifle grenades and machine-guns from the present lines would be fired, increasing in intensity by 9pm.  At 9pm the bombers would start their work:

  • 8/South Stafford bombers from the north side in trench 33 and bomb down to trench 32
  • 7/Border bombers from the junction of Deeside and trench 33s towards 33 and meet with the Stafford bombers in trench 33 and bomb towards trench 32
  • 7/Lincoln & 10/Sherwood bombers from the junction of trench 32 and Wood Street and bomb towards trench 32. On reaching the front line, the Sherwood bombers would turn north and bomb towards the Borders & Staffords.  The Lincoln bombers would turn south and bomb down trenches 31 and 31a.
  • Cyclist bombers from the junction of Nedge Row and trench 31s and meet the Lincoln bombers attached to the 7/East Yorkshire Regiment and bomb from Angle Trench up to trench 30 and along Loop Trench.

The O.C. 8/South Staffords and 7/East Yorkshire Regiment would combine an infantry attack across the open and co-operate with the bombing attack and consolidate the ground won by the bombers.

16 February:  In the morning, rations and water taken to all the Companies.  The day was “fairly quiet.”  In the evening 10/Royal Welsh Fusiliers relieved the Battalion in the trenches.

17 February: 12.50am relief completed and the battalion proceeded back to Reninghelst.

Private A. Lamb was reported as missing 16 February 1916. [17] It is assumed that 7/EYR which was part of 50th Brigade took part in the “infantry attack across the open” some-time on the night of 15/16 February.  The Army authorities decided that as from 5 February 1917, Private A. Lamb would be regarded “as having died on or since 16 February 1916.” [18]

Later research records that between 14 and 17 February 1916, the 7/East Yorkshires lost 13 other ranks killed in action or died of wounds, 11 being killed in action 16 October 1916 including Private A. Lamb.  No officers died. [19]

Private A. Lamb was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War and Victory medals.[20]


Private Albert Lamb is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.  Ypres is a town in the Province of West Flanders, Belgium.  The Memorial is situated at the eastern side of the town on the road to Menin (Menen) and Courtrai (Kortrijk).  The Menin Gate is one of 4 memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient which stretched from Langemarck in the north to Ploegsteert Wood in the south.  The Salient was formed during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914.  The site of the Menin Gate was chosen because of the hundreds of thousands of men who passed through it on their way to the battlefields.  It commemorates those of all Commonwealth nations (except New Zealand) who died in the Salient and in the case of British casualties, before 16 August 1917. Those UK and New Zealand servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot.  The memorial was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield and was unveiled in July 1927 by Lord Plummer.  The Ypres Menin Gate Memorial bears the names of 54,344 officers and men whose graves are not known. [21]


[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] 1891 census

[3] Army Form W.5080 – confirms Bertie as a brother

[4] 1901 census

[5] Army Form: Descriptive Report on Enlistment

[6] England & Wales Death Index 1837-1915 Vol.10a p.241 Teesdale 1912 Q3

[7] 1911 census & Army Form W.5080

[8] 1911 census

[9] Army Form B.2505

[10] Army Form B.178

[11] Army Form: Statement of the Services

[12] Medal Roll card index

[13] Army Form: Military History Sheet


[15] www.1914-1918.ney/17div.htm &

[16] 7th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment War Diary 1 – 17 February 1916

[17] Army Form: Statement of the Services

[18] Army Form: Casualties Form

[19] Officers & Soldiers Died in the Great War

[20] Medal Roll card index

[21] Commonwealth War Graves Commission


LAMB A.  Medal Roll

Medal Roll

Menin Gate Memorial (Ypres)

Menin Gate Memorial (Ypres)

LAMB A. Inscrition Menin Gate Memorial

Menin Gate Memorial

One thought on “Lamb A.

  1. Pingback: COCKFIELD | The Fallen Servicemen of Southwest County Durham

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