To you, the photo may look like an old, weathered photo of an unknown soldier, but to Simon Mitchell, this guy was one of the most noble soldiers that ever lived. This is his great grandfather, Albert Green, and this is the only photo that has been preserved of this hero. For context, he had previously volunteered to fight in the Boer War in 1902 when he was 16 years old, but the war ended before he was sent overseas. The photo shows Albert in his South Staffordshire uniform at that time.
Born in Sheffield in the 1880s, he and his family moved to Birmingham and lived in Brookfields to find work, and at the start of WW1, he was working as a jeweller in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham, UK.
As all patriots did during those times, he volunteered to go fight for his country, and left for France with the 10th Battalion Royal Warwickshires in 1916. His battalion would see much front line action, both at Albert, and also at Messine Ridge. Unfortunately, he was killed in action on the 25th of July in 1917 at age 31, leaving behind his widow and a young family. Grandmother always spoke of the sadness of not knowing her father, as she was a small child when he was killed. She would herself go on to work in the Quarter herself.
For many years the details of Albert Leonard Green’s death In WW1 were unknown. However eventually I was able to trace him and find where he is buried in Belgium, in a cemetery in Vormezeele, not far from Ypres.
Simon Mitchell elaborates, “For whatever reason, my great grandfather he is not commemorated on the Warstone Lane War Memorial as we believe he should be. After many emails etc to Birmingham Council they have agreed that his name can be added after all this time, but at a cost of nearly £300. As a family we don’t have anywhere near this amount of money unfortunately.
I have a strong desire to have my great grandfather’s name added to the local War memorial in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham where he lived and worked, yet I don’t have the funds I need just yet. I hope that you all will find it in your hearts to give even just a little towards this cause – any amount, great or small will be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for reading my story, and helping a hero to get the memorial and recognition he rightly deserves.
Many other of my ancestors worked within the Quarter and my elderly mother was born in Vyse street in 1933.”
If you would like to help, here is the link: www.gofundme.com/4eafrhk