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Copyright  © All rights reserved.

Albert Chapman

 Albert Chapman was born in the last quarter of 1880 and his birth was registered in Malton. He was the eldest child of Thomas and Emma (nee Robinson) Chapman who were married in the first quarter of 1879 in Malton.  

Thomas and Emma Chapman and their eight children lived at Pit Houses, the houses on Highfield Road opposite the Croft and backing onto the quarry where Thomas Chapman worked.

1881 Census - resident at Pit Houses, Old Malton
CHAPMAN, Thomas, Head, Married, M, 29, Agri Lab, Broughton, Yorkshire.
CHAPMAN, Emma, Wife, Married, F, 24, Rillington, Yorkshire.
CHAPMAN, Albert, Son, Single, M, 6 months, Old Malton, Yorkshire.


Ten years alter they were still at the same address but Albert had been joined by a further seven siblings:

1891 Census – resident at Pit Houses, Town Street, Old Malton
CHAPMAN, Thomas, Head, Married, M, 39, Quarry Labourer, Malton, Yorkshire.
CHAPMAN, Emma, Wife, Married, F, 33, Rillington, Yorkshire.
CHAPMAN, Albert, Son, M, 10, Scholar, Old Malton, Yorkshire.
CHAPMAN, Eve, Daughter, F, 8, Scholar, Old Malton, Yorkshire.
CHAPMAN, Annie, Daughter, F, 7, Scholar, Old Malton, Yorkshire.
CHAPMAN, Nellie, Daughter , F, 6, Scholar, Old Malton, Yorkshire.
CHAPMAN, Harry, Son , M, 4, Scholar, Old Malton, Yorkshire.
CHAPMAN, Lambert, Son , M, 2, Old Malton, Yorkshire.
CHAPMAN, Lizzie, Daughter, F, 2, Old Malton,  Yorkshire.
CHAPMAN, Elzie, Daughter , F, 0 (11M), Old Malton, Yorkshire.

By 1901 Albert was training as a hairdresser and living at 10, Barrack Street in Leeds, boarding with the Weston family, a family recently moved to Leeds from Leicestershire:

1901 Census – resident at 10, Barrack Street, Leeds

CHAPMAN, Albert, Boarder, Single, M, 20, 1881, Hairdressers Assistant, Malton Yorkshire

By 1909  Albert had moved back to Malton and had taken on hairdresser’s premises at 14 Finkle Street (where Escape Hair Design is now) and the 1911 Census shows him living back at home with his widowed father and younger brother:

1911 Census -resident at 10 Pit Houses Old Malton.
CHAPMAN, Thomas, Head, Widower, M, 60, Limestone Quarryman, Worker, born Yorks; Malton.
CHAPMAN, Albert, Son, Single, M, 30, Hairdresser, Own account, born Yorks; Old Malton.
CHAPMAN, John Lambert, Son, Single, M, 23, Clerk In Office Of Clerk To Board Of Guardians District Council Etc, Worker, born Yorks; Old Malton

Albert enlisted in the 9th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment and would have trained at Frensham in Surrey before being sent to France. They arrived at Boulogne on August 26th 1915 at 11.20pm and their first experiences of the trenches took place near Erquinghem on 13th September. They were then moved into the Bois Grenier sector where they remained until end of February 1916 before moving to the Bruay area. On 7th March they relieved French troops about Gouay Servins and in the course of March moved to Bruay, Hersin and on to Angres where they remained until the 24th June when they were sent to the Somme.  Over the first week of July they were in Bazieux Wood, Albert and in bivouacs on Tara Hill attached to 34th Division and helped take Horseshoe Trench.On 10th July they were involved in a successful attack on Contalmaison. In August they beat off attacks in Munster Alley then a group of Battalion bombers took parts of Munster and Torr Trench and held them against repeated attacks, and moved to trenches near Papot in Bailleul sector.  In early September they spent some days training about St Omer before returning to the Somme, and on the 18th September they were stationed around Bazentin-le-Petit Wood providing carrying parties. It must have been about this time that Albert sustained the wounds of which he died a week later in a hospital at Etaples. He had received serious wounds in both legs and a letter from the hospital matron spoke of him as a model patient.

During the First World War, the area around Etaples was the scene of immense concentrations of Commonwealth reinforcement camps and hospitals. It was remote from attack, except from aircraft, and accessible by railway from both the northern or the southern battlefields. In 1917, 100,000 troops were camped among the sand dunes and the hospitals, which included eleven general, one stationary, four Red Cross hospitals and a convalescent depot, could deal with 22,000 wounded or sick. In September 1919, ten months after the Armistice, three hospitals and the Q.M.A.A.C. convalescent depot remained.  The cemetery contains 10,771 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, the earliest dating from May 1915. 90 of the First World War burials are of men of the Yorkshire Regiment.

Albert is commemorated in the Cemetery at Old Malton on his parents’ gravestone, as well as in Old Malton Priory church and in the Old Malton Memorial Hall. His War medal is on display in the Priory Church