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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916

CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916

Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916

Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916

Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 22302 Francis Albert (Bertie) Adams

  • Age: 27
  • From: West Derby, Liverpool
  • Regiment: 13th KLR
  • Died on Thursday 3rd May 1917
  • Commemorated at: Arras Memorial
    Panel Ref: Bay 3
Francis Albert Adams was born in West Derby, Liverpool on 08th June 1889, the son of Frank Adams and his wife Fanny (née Fitzpatrick).  He used his middle name, and was known in the family as Bertie. 
His father was born in Camden, London, and his mother in Newry, County Down. They married in Newry in 1878 and had Isabella in 1879,  by 1881 they had moved to Liverpool, where Eliza Jane 1881, Harriet Emma 1884, Annie 1886, Bertie and James 1889, and Fanny 1890, were born.  His twin brother, James Frederick, died at two months old, leaving Bertie the only surviving son.  The family was then living in Edensor Terrace, off Breck Road.
In 1891 the family is living at 122 Grey Rock Street, Anfield, with six children. His parents are both 34, his father is employed as a cotton broker’s warehouseman.  Bertie (listed as Francis A.) is 1.
Bertie appears under the name Albert in a number of schools.  He attended Emmanuel School then in 1899 he enrolled, with sisters Annie and Fanny, in Newsham School, their residence given as 31 Silverdale Street. He also attended Seaforth National School and Boaler Street School. 
The 1901 census finds the family at 1 Ivy Leigh, with four children. His parents are both 42, his father is a warehouseman for a cotton merchant, Emma is 16, a confectioner’s apprentice, Annie is 14, Bertie is 11, and Fanny 10.

His father died in 1905 aged 47.
Unfortunately, neither Bertie nor his mother or unmarried sisters have been found on the 1911 census.
He enlisted in Liverpool in November 1914 joining the 20th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 22302.

Formed in November 1914 the 20th Battalion were originally billeted at Tournament Hall, Knotty Ash before on 29th January 1915 they moved to the hutted accommodation purposely built at Lord Derby’s estate at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 20th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain. He arrived in France on 29th December 1915.

He transferred to the 13th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment and was serving with them when he was killed in action on 03rd May 1917.

The battalion diaries give an insight into the action that Albert experienced as part of 13th Btn when on 01st May 1917 they moved from Arras.

"Throughout the night of 1st /2nd May the Bosche had placed a heavy gas shell, shrapnel and high explosive barrage,on the whole area West of Monchy and the ground South of it. The Barrage threw the back area into confusion.

At 3.45 a.m. on 3 May 1917 commenced The Third Battle of The Scarpe our 3rd Barrage in spite of the Gas and lachrymatory fumes which hung about our batteries near Monachy, opened up punctually, it was followed almost immediately by the Enemy's barrage. Two Companies of the 13th moved out of the front trench. Strong Lewis Gun Fire was maintained on the Enemy's front line to prevent his escaping the barrage by leaving his trenches.

A hostile counter attack was launched at the leading Companies from the North and North  East.
It was beaten back..........A second and strong hostile Counter attack which was delivered from the Northern flank, was met very gallantly, but the line was by this time so thin, no support having come up, that a withdrawal was necessary to prevent the troops being cut off."

The Kingsmen consolidated their position, though constantly under heavy fire.

The Battalion lost 10 Officers in that attack but the Battalion Diary does not give other Ranks Casualties. However, the Brigade HQ Diary for May 1917 records total losses of the 13th King's from 2nd to 12th May 1917 as 12 Officers and 46 Other Ranks Killed in Action with 32 Missing  and 139 Wounded.

Albert Adams was one of those statistics whose body was not recovered or was subsequently lost as his name is recorded on the Arras Memorial in France.

The ARRAS MEMORIAL commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918, the eve of the Advance to Victory, and have no known grave. The most conspicuous events of this period were the Arras offensive of April-May 1917, and the German attack in the spring of 1918. Canadian and Australian servicemen killed in these operations are commemorated by memorials at Vimy and Villers-Bretonneux. A separate memorial remembers those killed in the Battle of Cambrai in 1917. Both cemetery and memorial were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, with sculpture by Sir William Reid Dick. The memorial was unveiled by Lord Trenchard, Marshal of the Royal Air Force on the 31 July 1932 (originally it had been scheduled for 15 May, but due to the sudden death of French President Doumer, as a mark of respect, the ceremony was postponed until July).

Bertie was initially declared Missing on 03rd May 1917. His family made enquiries with the British Red Cross on 20th July 1917.  His death was later assumed, for official purposes, as having occurred on or since 3rd May 1917.
Bertie earned his three medals.
A pension card exists in the name of his mother Fanny, at 16 Tuscan Street, Seaforth, and shows that a pension was awarded from February 1918.  Sadly, his mother died nine months after Bertie, on 2nd February 1918, aged 59.
The War Gratuity and Bertie’s Army effects went to his sisters Annie Adams, Emma Aulds, Isabella Harding, Jane Grantham and Fanny James.
Bertie is commemorated on the following memorials -
Seaforth and Waterloo Memorial

Christ Church, Waterloo 

We currently have no further information on Francis Albert Adams, If you have or know someone who may be able to add to the history of this soldier, please contact us.

Killed On This Day.

(108 Years this day)
Tuesday 18th July 1916.
Pte 27346 John Mawdsley
34 years old

(106 Years this day)
Thursday 18th July 1918.
Cpl 106108 William Alexander Unsworth
38 years old