Bert Bennett Adley was born in the spring of 1895, the youngest of eleven children to George and Alma Adley. George was a brickmaker’s labourer from Canterbury, Kent, but it was in nearby Faversham that he and Alma raised their family.
Bert – who was affectionately known as Bertie – found work with a local baker when he left school, and this stood him in good stead when war broke out. He was called up in June 1915, and joined the Army Service Corps as a Private. His service records give little personal information, but they do give his height as 5ft 5ins (1.65m) and his weight as 9st 2lbs (58kg).
Private Adley’s military life was to be tragically short. Based in Aldershot, Hampshire, it is likely that the sudden mixing of recruits from across the country was key in his contracting pneumonia. He was admitted to hospital on 26th June, and died two weeks later, on 11th July 1915. He was just 20 years of age, and had been in the Army Service Corps for just 28 days.
Bert Bennett Adley’s body was brought back to Kent for burial. He was laid to rest in his home town, in the Faversham Borough Cemetery.