Albert Eustace Day (1895-1915)
Albert and Hubert Day are remembered on the memorial in the Methodist Church on East Street and were, like the Dove brothers — Sydney and Edward — whose names are also on the East Street memorial, the sons of Wesleyan ministers who, though not local to Huddersfield, spent some time living and working in Lindley.
John Day, born in 1875, married Caroline Daintree in spring 1890 in Cambridgeshire. A Wesleyan minister, he served on the Gledholt circuit, of which the Lindley church had been a part since 1896, between 1907 and 1910, during which time he seems to have lived in the manse at the top of Temple Street, as did the parents of Edward and Sydney Dove a few years earlier.
Hubert was born in Louth, Linconshire on 6 July 1893 and Hubert less than two years later in 1895, also in Louth. Their father, John, was born in St Oysth, near Clacton, in Essex but his vocation as a minister took him around the country: first child, Mabel, had been born almost four years before Hubert in Greetland, not so far from Lindley; then his first son, John, and Hubert and Albert in Louth where he seems to have spent at least four years.
They may have also lived on the island of Jersey at some time for Hubert attended the Jersey Modern School, a private institution that prided itself in preparing boys for civil service and commerce exams as well as for science and art examinations. It is possible that Hubert boarded there: both he and Albert both attended the Kingswood Methodist boarding school at Bath.
The 1901 census found the family in Pudsey, Leeds, where they shared the house with John's sister, Marion, and a single domestic servant, Sarah Valiner.
Ten years later John's work had taken the family to the capital: they were living at 25 St. Kilda's Road, Stoke Newington in north-east London. Mabel was at that time living as a ‘Lady Servant' in household of a GP and his brother, a solicitor, and his family. Some time during the War John became Officiating Chaplain to the troops at Colchester.
Hubert and his older brother, John both worked as clerks: John in an upholstery business and Hubert in the Westminster Branch of the London City and Midland Bank.
Albert also became a clerk and was employed by the City of London Corporation at the Guildhall.
It was in the City that on 5 October 1914 Hubert enlisted in the 7th (City of London) Battalion, the London Regiment, as a private soldier. Albert enlisted in the same battalion two days later.
Hubert served in France from 18 March 1915. Wounded at the Battle of Loos on 25 September, he was invalided back to England, and was gazetted 2nd Lieut. Royal Fusiliers on 26 January 1916. He received training at Oxford and at Troon, became Bombing Officer at Portobello Barracks, London.
Albert went to France at the same time as his brother. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, "For gallant conduct on16 May 1915, at Festubert. During an attack on the German trenches he rescued a man who was unable to extract himself from a watercourse, and succeeded in bringing him into safety under heavy shell fire."
Like his brother, Albert was also wounded at the Battle of Loos. He died of wounds he following day, 26 September 1916, in the care of the 6th London Field Ambulance.
One can only imagine that the grief felt by John and Caroline Day at the loss of Albert was at least made bearable when they found out that Hubert was wounded but safe in Britain.
However, Hubert was sent back to France in September 1916. He survived another eight months and was killed in an attack on the village of Monchy-le-Preux on the 9 April 1917 during the Battle of Arras. His commanding officer wrote: "He was a splendid young soldier, and showed great devotion to duty and being a great favourite with all ranks..." and was to be promoted when the next vacancy arose. He had been recommended for the Military Cross.
Buried on the battlefield, Hubert's body was not located and he is remembered on the Arras Memorial. He was 23 years old. Albert was buried at the Noeux-Les-Mines Communal Cemetery, along with almost a thousand other men, with 300 more in the extension.
Both boys are remembered on the memorial in the East Street church. Hubert is also remembered on the London Joint City and Midland Bank Memorial, now located on Canary Wharf, London.
John and Caroline Day were living in Bournemouth by the 1920s. Their other son seems to have survived the war. Their daughter, Mabel, married a cousin, Norman Daintree, in Hackney, in the summer of 1913.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Private ALBERT EUSTACE DAY
- regiment: London Regiment
- died: 26 September 1915
- age: 20 years
- record ID: 465612
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission (ID #1580102)
- Imperial War Museums: Lives of the First World War (ID #465612)
Notes and References
- Interestingly, his Medal Card says he was commissioned on 23 September 1915, two days before he was wounded, which would suggest that his officer-training only began after he had received his promotion.
- London Gazette (05/Aug/1915).
- Sydney Dove, also at one time a resident of 27 Temple Street, Lindley, and pupil at Kingswood, is also remembered on this memorial.