Packham A

CWG: Bombardier Albert Packham

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Bombardier Albert Packham

Albert Thomas Packham was born in the Kent village of Milton in 1874. The fourth of nine children to George and Mary, he quickly followed into his father footsteps, becoming a general labourer.

In September 1903, he married Ellen Amelia Manktelow; their first child – Ernest – was born in November of that year. By the time of the 1911 census, the couple had three further children – Albert, Ellen and Sydney – and the family had set up home in the village of Bobbing, near Sittingbourne.

Albert received his call up papers in late 1915, by which time sons Stanley and William had joined the family group. Enlisted to the Royal Field Artillery (Reserve), Bombardier Packham undertook his service on home soil. His records show that he was “not to be compulsorily posted for service under Military Service (Review of Exceptions) Oct 1917”.

Bombardier Packham was discharged as physically unfit for service on 15th June 1918; his pension records show that he was suffering from mitral aortic cardiac disease. His papers records that he was a “steady, sober and industrious” individual.

Ellen gave birth to their sixth son – and seventh child – in November 1918. Less than three months later, however, Albert had died. He was 44 years old.

Albert Thomas Packham lies at peace in the graveyard of St Bartholomew’s Church in the village of Bobbing.

Albert was not initially commemorated with a Commonwealth War Grave – presumably as he had been discharged from the RFA. This oversight was subsequently rectified, and a gravestone erected in his honour. However, this was only done many years after his passing, by which time his original burial place had been lost. His stone therefore bears the inscription “Buried elsewhere in this churchyard”.

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