Albert was born in Greatham, Hampshire in 1881; in 1911 aged 30 he was living at Ogbourne St Andrew with his widowed grandfather Henry Wigmore (75) his Aunt Florence (38) his Uncle Walter Wigmore (35), and a ‘Boarder’ Ambrose Johnson (42), all of whom were employed locally as Farm Labourers. Albert enlisted into the Army at Marlborough in August 1914 and after 6 months of training he arrived in France on the 1st January 1915, joining ‘D’ Company of the 1st Battalion (Duke of Edinburgh’s) Wiltshire Regiment at Locre, Belgium.
Between Albert’s arrival on the 01 January 1915 and his death on the 22 June 1915, he served and fought with his Regiment at the following front line Trench locations, Locre, Kemmel, La Clyte, Dickebush, Vermezeel and Elzenwalle in Belgium. Throughout the First World War the Hooge Chateau and its surrounding area was the scene of very fierce fighting, with the Allies loosing and recovering the ground from the Germans on several occasions. From May 1915, this area of the front was ‘Quiet’ whilst the trenches (In red on the picture), were consolidated and strengthened, however sniping and shell fire still caused on average of 300 casualties a day.
The following war diary entry shows the activities that still took place over this "quiet" period:
21 Jun 1915, Regiment, 1 st Wiltshire, Location, Belgium, Hooge, Entry, Desultory shelling throughout the day by enemy. Orders received from Bde that an attack was to be made on 'redoubt' by 2 Coys of Battn.
22 Jun 1915, Regiment, 1 st Wiltshire, Location, Belgium, Hooge, Entry, Fine and hot. A Coy took up position in HOOGE trenches. 2 platoon in C1 and C trench from tunnel to ISLAND POST. B Coy in trenches N of ZOUVE Wood to support A Coy. Bombardment took place 7.30 - 8p.m. At 8p.m. No 1 & 3 platoons attacked but were held up by Machine gun fire. The two officers leading attack were shot and the men returned to our fire trenches. The action was broken off. The German parapets appeared to be little damaged. Casualties. 2nd Lieut A N Mclean killed. 2nd Lieuts A C W Broadhurst and N L Carrington wounded. Other ranks, 24. About midnight the Battn was relieved and returned to billets near VLAMERTINGE.
23 Jun 1915, Regiment, 1 St Wiltshire, Location, Belgium, Hooge, Entry, Rest
Albert was ‘Killed in Action’ during the events on the 22 June 1915, it is likely that D Coy which Albert was part of, would have been in a exposed position to both small arm and artillery fire, whilst giving covering fire from their trenches, during the A and B Coy assault of the German trenches.
Albert Ernest Edward Wigmore is buried at Grave XIV.H.17, Hooge Crater Cemetery, Belgium. Alongside Albert there are now 5,923 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 3,579 of the burials are unidentified, but special memorials record the names of a number of casualties either known or believed to be buried among them, or whose graves in other cemeteries were destroyed by shell fire.