Albert William Romain was born in Gillingham, Kent, at the start of 1888, the middle of three children to Henry and Florence. Henry was a Sergeant in the Royal Engineers and is seemed inevitable that his son would follow suit.
Henry died in 1896, and was buried in the Grange Road Cemetery, Gillingham (now a public park). The 1901 census recorded Albert as a pupil at the Duke of York’s Royal Military Asylum in Chelsea. This was, in fact, a school for the children of soldiers, and it is likely that Albert was sent there to be educated when his father died.
The Royal Engineers obviously proved too great a lure for the young Albert. While full details of his service are not available, he had definitely enlisted early on, and was listed as a Lance Corporal in the Tempe barracks in Bloemfontein, South Africa in the 1911 census.
When war broke out, he was called back to Europe, as was on the Western Front by November 1914. Little further information on Albert is available – during the conflict he was assigned to D Company of the Royal Engineers, but the end of the war, he had become a Sergeant in the 1st Reserve Battalion.
In November 1918, back on UK soil, he was admitted to the Fort Pitt Military Hospital in Chatham, Kent. His condition is unclear, but sadly it was to be one to which he would succumb. Sergeant Romain died on 8th November 1918; he was just 30 years old.
Albert William Romain was laid to rest with his father in the Grange Road Cemetery. He is commemorated in the Woodlands Cemetery in his home town of Gillingham, Kent.