Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.
Albert John Preece was the son of James Preece, a carpet factory labourer, and his wife Sarah. They lived at Pale Cottages, later moving to Severn Street. When he left school, Albert worked as a creeler in a carpet factory.
Albert volunteered soon after the start of the war. He served as a gunner in ‘B’ Battery of 124th Brigade Royal Field Artillery. His brigade was in action during the Somme 1916, the Arras Offensive and the Third Battle of Ypres (1917). Albert was killed in action towards the end of the latter, on 23rd October, 1917. He is buried at Voormezeele, just South of Ypres.
Gunner Preece, 113836, was awarded the Victory and British Medals and the 15 Star. His death was reported in the Bridgnorth Journal on 10 November, 1917.
BRIDGNORTH SOLDIERS KILLED [Bridgnorth Journal, 10th November, 1917] Mr James Preece, 5 Severn Street, Bridgnorth, has received official information that his son 113836 Gunner Albert John Preece, 124th Brigade R.F.A., was killed in action at a place not stated on the 23rd October. The deceased, who was in his 22nd year, was in the employ of Messrs. H. and M. Southwell, The Friars, Bridgnorth, previous to joining the Army in 1915. The deceased’s Sergeant, writing to Mr. James Preece, expressed the sorrow they all felt in the loss of such a fine young soldier and comrade. His death was quite sudden. A shell came over, and a piece struck him on the head, killing him immediately. He was buried in a quiet cemetery with many more British lads who had made the supreme sacrifice. Mrs Preece also received a comforting letter from the Chaplain expressing deepest sympathy with her in her loss. He also referred to the fact that her son was killed absolutely instantaneously, and so knew not a minute’s pain or suffering. They laid his body reverently to rest that afternoon (24th October) in the British Military Cemetery at Voormegeele, and as soon as possible a cross would be erected to his memory.
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.