Albert Howell Curtis was the second of four brothers from Barrowden. Albert, his elder brother Harry and his younger brother Horace all died. The youngest was still at school and so too young to serve. Albert was born on 29 October 1892, the son of Henry Levi and Mary Matilda Curtis, at Easton on the Hill where he first went to school. His parents later moved to Barrowden. He was academic, like his brothers, and won a scholarship to Stamford Grammar School. Also like two of his brothers he became a teacher. Before the war he taught mathematics, Latin and Greek at Sandwich Grammar School. He joined the 8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers in February 1916, and went out to France on 10 July the same year. Within three weeks he was fatally wounded at Pozieres Ridge by a shell during the Battle of the Somme. The war diary says the battalion, which had already suffered greatly in the early stages of the battle, was ordered to take over a part of the line in front of Albert near Pozieres. On 3 August they attacked and captured a German trench known as 4th Avenue and followed this up by attacking Ration Trench. George Phillips wrote in Rutland and the Great War: "It was in this attack the Royal Fusiliers did some strenuous work. The Germans, who had lost the position, counter attacked with a strong force, with eight tanks coming forward and with a throng of bombers behind them. A Captain of the Royal Fusiliers, instead of awaiting the attack in a crowded trench, rushed his men in the open, where they shot down the flame-bearers before they could bring their devilish squirts to bear. The bombers, who had followed the advance, led the flight. On this day 127 Germans who had been caught in a pocket between the British trenches were forced to surrender." Private Curtis was buried at Varennes Military Cemetery, north west of Albert, grave I.A.2. He is remembered, along with his two brothers, on the wooden war memorial inside St Peter's Church at Barrowden and on the war memorial at Easton on the Hill.
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