Albert Victor Young was born in Thame in 1883 to John Young and Caroline (née Newman) of the Four Horseshoes public house in Park Street. The youngest son of six children, Albert worked at the pub and was well known in the town. The family later moved to 5 Upper High Street, Thame.
In February 1902 Albert enlisted with the Royal Irish Rifles at Hounslow, Middlesex. According to his enlistment papers, he was at the time a serving member of the 7th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, a local militia in London. He was posted to India with the Royal Irish Rifles in November 1903, not returning until March 1910 when he was transferred to the Army Reserve.
As a National Reservist he re-enlisted, on the outbreak of hostilities, with the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry (Regt No 10097). After a brief period of training, he joined A Company, 2nd Battalion as part of a reinforcing draft at Dhuizel in northern France on 22nd September 1914.
This was just in time to take part in the “Race to the Sea”, followed by the First Battle of Ypres. On 27th November Albert was wounded in trenches near Bailleul and evacuated to a hospital in Lincoln.
After his recovery, just before Easter 1916, he was posted to the newly formed Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) and as part of a reinforcing draft, joined the 27th Machine Gun Company in France, serving with the 27th Brigade of the 9th (Scottish) Division.
In a letter home on 8th August, Albert describes the Company’s involvement from 1st July on the Somme. Fighting in the southern sector with their Vickers machine guns, they were in regular engagement throughout the month, suffering heavy losses, but the Division steadily advanced as far as Delville Wood.
During October, the Battalion took part in the last major offensive on the Somme, the Battle of Le Transloy and on the morning of 25th October Albert, age 43, was killed by shellfire. It was reported at the time that he was buried with “one of our own men who had fallen a few days before and with full respect and dignity”, however, after the war his grave could not be identified.
30304 Lance Corporal Albert Victor Young, Machine Gun Corps, has no known grave and is commemorated on Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. He is remembered in Thame on the War Memorial and on the Memorial Boards of St Mary’s Church and All Saints’ Church.
The Thame Remembers Cross was delivered to Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France on 31st October 2015 by Cllr Linda Emery (Deputy Mayor of Thame) & Cllr Helena Fickling