The Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment

Private A Chambers


Private Albert CHAMBERS, G/5214, 7th  Battalion, Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment, killed in action, Flanders France, 1st July 1916.

Born Epsom, Surrey, son of William & Mary Chambers, 8 Linthorpe Road, East Greenwich, Kent. Stepmother Sussanna Chambers.

1911 Census - 29 Collerston Road, East Greenwich, SE - William Chambers, head, age 40, married, general labourer, London Gas Company, born Ashford, Kent; Mary Chambers, wife, age 41, married 22 years, 4 children, 2 still alive, born Sittingbourne, Kent; Sidney Chambers, son, age 16, single, laundry lad, born Wandsworth, London; Albert Chambers, son, age 13, born Epsom, Surrey.

Enlisted Woolwich, Kent, age 19 years, 7 months, height 5ft 3½ inches, weight 125lbs, tattoo left forearm.  Resided 8 Linthorpe Road, Greenwich, Kent. Formerly labourer.

Home 4th January 1915 to 25th July 1915; BEF 26th July 1915 to 1st July 1916.

4th January 1915, enlisted & posted Depot, Royal West Kent Regiment; 9th April? 1915, posted 7th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment; 26th July 1915, posted BEF;

Proceedings of a Court of Enquiry held on 16th November 1915 in the subject of the self wounding of 5214 Pte Chambers - 

1st witness, Pte 2085, E W Tanner states - I was the waiting sentry when Pte Chambers was on sentry last night the 15th instasnt. At about 9.35pm I saw Pte Chambers shoot over the parapet at the German lines and withdraw his rifle. He pointed it down to the ground and in reloading it apparently pulled the trigger as the rifle went off. He shouted out to me that he was shot. He seemed to be reloading quickly to shoot again. I have several times previously noticed that he had a habit of bringing his rifle back in that manner to reload.

2nd Witness, Sgt J Crossman states - I was on duty in the front line trench last night. At about 9.30pm  I was coming round a ????, saw Pte Chambers withdraw his rifle from the parapet after firing. He seemed to me to be putting back the safety catch after reloading, when the rifle went off. The man is in my platoon and I have found him generally careful with his rifle. He was looking down at the rifle when the rifle fired.

No.5214 Pte Chambers statement. I had just fired at the German lines and I had just got down behind the parapet and reloaded. My hands were very cold and in trying to put the safety catch on again I accidentally touched the trigger and the rifle went off.

The Court having examined the evidence decides that the wounding of 5214 Pte Chambers was through negligence.

16th November 1915, charge, neglectly self wounding, guilty, 14 days, Field Punishment No.1.; 13th December 1915, Commuted to forfeit 14 days pay, 27 days confinement; 20th December 1915, awaiting trial; 29th January 1916,  awarded 21 days Field Punishment No.1.

6th August 1919, Statement of Relatives - Father, William Chambers, 8 Linthorpe Road, East Greenwich; Step Mother, Susannah E Chambers, 8 Linthorpe Road, East Greenwich; Brothers - Sidney George Chambers, age 24, 8 Linthorpe Road, East Greenwich; William George Chambers, age 5, 8 Linthorpe Road, East Greenwich.

Commemorated at Thiepval Memorial, Pier & Face 11C, Somme, France.

This page was last updated on 19-Sep-2017.

Copyright   © 2008 Janet & Richard Mason