Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
11 Jun 1917
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Sgt Albert William (Bert) Mead, 22714, 142nd Company Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), died in Flanders on June 16th, 1917, from wounds sustained in action the previous day. The holder of the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Military Medal, he had been mentioned in despatches on several occasions.
Capt Carlton Davies, writing in glowing terms of his personal experience of Sgt Mead and his bravery, said in a letter to parents Henry John and Helen Mead, of 33 Portland Road, Luton: "Your boy had already received the Military Medal, a trifling recognition, I fear, of all he had done, and in this last attack his conduct was beyond all praise. It was after his section had been relieved and come back to reserve that the fatal shell which caused his death and that of his section officer burst in the entrance to the dug-out, and injured him so badly.
"I had not the honour of seeing him personally before he was carried to the dressing station, but I am told that, severe as were his wounds, he was in no pain and passed away peacefully."
Albert's DCM arrived with his parents over four months after his death, without specific details of the deed or deeds for which it was awarded. But, referring to the award of the Military Medal in January 1916, Capt Davies wrote: "He and several comrades were in their dug-out when a shell burst upon it, killing Frank Gilder, a Luton boy, and a London lad named Dean. Two others were buried beneath the debris. Mead, suffering from the shock of the explosion, managed to crawl out, but he was soon back to rescue his chums, two of whom he got to safety despite the fact that he was under heavy shell and rifle fire."
Among other letters of condolence was one from the managing director of Commercial Cars, where Sgt Mead's father worked as a motor body builder.
Born in London, 'Bert' Mead joined the 24th London Regiment (No 2543) with a group of Luton friends at St Albans early in the war. After a short period of training, he was voluntarily transferred with his pal Sgt 'Punch' Lovell to the Machine Gun Section of that regiment. He went to France in March 1915 and gained promotion for fearlessness on the battlefield. He also had a spell at Grantham as a machine gun sergeant-instructor.
In the 1911 Census Albert was described as a straw hat warehouseman, then living at 17 George Street West, Luton.