|Royal Field Artillery||105652|
Photo courtesy Jeanette Dale
Albert Foulds Crowder was born at Lea, Derbyshire, on 29 November 1894. He was the son of Elizabeth Crowder, and it is likely that his father was Matthew Foulds of Crich. Albert was raised by his grandparents at Crich, and as a brother to his uncle, Arthur Crowder, who was only two years Albert's senior. In 1911, Albert was working at a local water works, though he and Arthur Crowder had relocated to South Wales by 1915, presumably due to work opportunities there in the coal industry.
See the photograph above – the photograph was taken by Crown Studios of 1 Canon Street, Aberdare, it must have been taken at around that the time they enlisted in 1915, and it would seem likely that both brothers would be pictured. The man standing at the back is unidentified.
During the First World War, Albert and Arthur attested as regular soldiers with the Royal Field Artillery at Aberdare on 4 September 1915. They were given consecutive service numbers 105651 (Arthur) and 105652 (Albert), and both served as drivers. No details are known of Albert's war service, though he was transferred to Section B of the Army Reserve on 20 March 1919, and doesn't appear to have been awarded any service medals. On the First World War 'Roll of Honour' inside Crich Parish Church, Albert's rank is given as 'Bombardier'. During the war, Albert had married Jessie Johnson in 1917 at All Saints Church at Heaton Norris, Stockport, Cheshire. After the war, Albert and Jessie spent several years living at Talgarth in mid Wales, where they had three children: a girl, and two boys.
As reservists, both Albert and Arthur were mobilised briefly in 1921 after a state of emergency had been declared under the Emergency Powers Act 1920. This was declared on 31 March after the Triple Alliance (predecessor to the Trade Union Congress, or TUC) called a strike over a miners' wage dispute. When, on 15 April, the transport and rail unions decided not to call for strike action in solidarity with the miners, this became known as 'Black Friday'. Albert and Arthur were finally discharged from the army on 3 September 1927, on completion of their twelve years' engagement.
After the family returned to Jessie's native Cheshire, settling at Stockport, Jessie was a shop keeper for a number of years. Due to work commitments, Albert often lived apart from his family with Arthur Crowder during this time. During the 1930s, the 'brothers' lived for a time at the village of Heptonstall, near Hebden Bridge in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and they later lived at Hathersage in Derbyshire for many years, where Albert was employed as a driller at Earle's cement works in the Hope Valley. Albert's granddaughter recalls that he was commonly known as 'Dick Crowder' in the Hathersage area.
After his retirement, Albert returned to live in the Stockport area, and he passed away on 27 March 1986, aged ninety-one years.
1016747 R. Crowder Albert F; 4.9.15 (enlistment date); 20 10/12 (age on enistment); Aberdare (place of enlistment) ; Gas engineman (occupation) ; 11.4.21; 5.6.21 (Rembodied Service dates) ; Crich; Jessie Johnson (wife)
1901: Hat Factory, Crich
|Charles||Crowder||son||16||Pony driver coal pit||Crich|
|Albert F||Crowder||grand son||6||Lea|
RG13 piece 3231 folio 6 page 4
1911: The Cross, Crich
|Herbert||Crowder||son||22||Galvanizer wire works||Crich|
|Elsie||Crowder||grand child||18||Factory hand spinning Lea Mills||Crich|
|Albert Foulds||Crowder||grand child||16||Water works errand boy||Crich|
|Ada||Crowder||daughter||15||Factory hand hosiery Lea Mills||Crich|
RG14PN20985 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED14 SN129
Albert Crowder's uncle Arthur Crowder is also on the Roll of Honour.