As I was growing up there was always an old sepia photograph of him on the wall. He was sat astride his horse "Dolly" in his South Staffs regiment uniform during the Battle of the Somme.
I remember my father telling me tales about him but never really paid much attention as I was a teenager and wartime stories were the last thing I wanted to hear. But I loved that old photo with him sitting so proud.
But the tale I really loved was about the old photograph. Albert had lied about his age to join up in the early 1900s. So he was just 15 years old when he joined the South Staffs Regiment.
Later he joined the machine gun corps nicknamed "The suicide squad" and adored the horse assigned to him, a dark bay mare called Dolly.
He and Dolly survived some fierce battles and at the end of the war he was distraught to have to leave her behind in France. Many of the army horses were despatched to Belgium for meat as it was not considered finacially viable to ship them back to the UK so he had to leave her behind.
A few months later he was in Walsall town centre and to his amazement he saw Dolly pulling a milk cart. He called her and she cantered across to him pulling the cart behind her! This huge 6 foot 3 guy cried like a baby.
That photograph had always hung in the hallway but when mum developed altzeimers she did some bizarre things with items in her home and the photograph simply disappeared and has never been since since. Mum by then had no recollection of where it could be.
How I would love to have it today...............................