Albert Howell Curtis

View Albert Howell on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Service number:
Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
Date of birth:
29 October 1892
Date of death:
04 August 1916
Age at Death:
CURTIS Albert Howell

Known information

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.

See where all our Rutland soldiers died during the Battle of the Somme on our interactive map.

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  • Barrowden Church
  • Barrowden Memorial
  • Easton war memorial
  • Easton Curtis brothers
  • Varennes Military Cemetery 1
  • Varennes Military Cemetery 2
  • A Curtis 1
  • A Curtis 3
  • A Curtis 2

User contributions

Albert Howell Curtis was born 29th October 1892, in Easton, Northants, the son of Henry Levi Curtis and Mary Matilda Curtis. In July 1906 he was a pupil at Easton on the Hill Council School. Between September 1906 and 28 July 1911 he was a pupil at Stamford Grammar School. He had an exemption from tuition fees 1906-1909. He moved to become a pupil teacher at Northants County Council from August 1 1909 and took his Oxford & Cambridge Joint Board Lower Certificate in1911, and Preliminary Certificate (Honours in Latin and History) in July 1911. He attended Northern Universities Matriculation1911-1914. Albert became an un-certificated full time Teacher at Garford Parochial School, Easton, Northants. He then successfully got his Board of Education Preliminary Certificate for Elementary School Teacher. On 02.05.1914 he was awarded a probationary appointment at Sir Roger Manwood school and on 1 November 1914 he was given a "definitive appointment" with special subjects of Mathematics, Latin and Greek with principal duties for Mathematics & Drawing to pupil s in forms IV, Upper III and Lower III. He also taught in Games. His annual salary was £50 as a resident at the school and rising to £60 in September 1915. However, cost of board & lodging was £40 given as part of emoluments.05.04.1916. Albert left Sir Roger Manwood School to enlist in the Public School Battalion. He enlisted for military service at Sandwich, Kent Private (10394), 8th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), 36th Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division.04.08.1916. Albert was killed in action after only one month in the trenches at Pozieres Ridge and is buried in VARENNES MILITARY CEMETERY, Somme, France. Plot I. Row A. Grave 2. Notes from The Manwoodian school magazine: Winter 1914 “Mr Curtis has taken up the work of the Corps, and has been gazetted Cadet Officer. [Manwood Officers Training Corps]. Midsummer 1916: “Mr Curtis and Mr Rock left us last Term, for the period of the war. Mr Curtis joined the Public School Battalion and is already in France, after a short three months training. The Stamfordian: ALBERT HOWELL CURTIS Private, Royal Fusiliers Killed in Action, August 4th, 1916Albert Howell Curtis entered the School in 1906, and left in 1911, when in the VIth form. Having decided to become a schoolmaster, he taught for a time at Easton, from which school he passed on to Sandwich Grammar School.Like his brother he threw up his civilian work to enter the army, and only as recently as July 10th last, went over to France. His death following upon that of his brother Horace, has laid a grievous burden on the members of his family, to whom we can only extend our heart-felt sympathy. England can ill afford to lose many like the Curtis' of Easton.J.D.D. The ManwoodianVol. 10 Christmas 1916 No. 5 In Memorian We were deeply grieved to receive the news of the death of Mr. A. H. Curtis, of wounds received in France on the night of Aug. 3rd. A very brief notice has reached us about the details of his death, we know that he was severely wounded by a shell or trench mortar, whilst waiting in a trench all ready to attack. He was taken to the Dressing Station, but died on the following day. We can only say that the deepest sympathies of the whole School go out to his parents in this their loss of a second son.We all remember Mr. Curtis both in school and in the playing field. He was a fine athlete, and took a very great interest in the light side of school life. He had a keen sense of humour, and a quiet but penetrating wit. Those of us who knew his inner life could not but admire it. He had a deep and steadfast faith in his religion, and though he was always reserved in such matters, his influence made itself felt amongst us. HIs parents have lost a most devoted son; we have lost an example, a friend, and a gentleman. To the School he gave the best of his ability; to this country he gave his life. W. A. S. August 23rd 1916: PTE. A. H. CURTIS, FORMERLY OF EASTONThe tolling of the bell at Easton on Monday afternoon conveyed the distressing news of the passing to the Great Beyond of another Eastonian while in the service of his country, - Private Albert Howell Curtis, of the Royal Fusiliers, third son of Mr. and Mrs. L. Curtis, formerly of Easton, and now of Barrowden. Mr. J. Patrick, who resides on the Collyweston Road, and is a personal friend of Mr. and Mrs. Curtis, received the sad intelligence on Monday morning, the official notification saying the he was killed in action on the 4th inst. Pte. Curtis, who was 24 years of age went out to the front as recently as July 10th, and the news of his death caused a profound sensation in Easton, of which he was native, and especially as Mr. Patrick had received a letter from him written on August 2nd, in which he said he was quite well and happy. Like his brothers, Pte. Curtis had risen high in the scholastic profession, and a very promising career is thus cut tragically short. He received his early education at Easton school, under Mr. T. W. Tassell, and afterwards went to Stamford Grammar School, whence he returned to Easton school as second master, and subsequently went to the Grammar School, Sandwich, Kent. He was a keen sportsman, being interested especially in cricket and football, and while in Easton he was for a long time a member of the church choir.The deepest sympathy will go out to the bereaved parents in their great trial, for another son, Lieutenant Horace Curtis, West Yorkshire, has been missing since last August, and yet another son, Captain Reginald Curtis, Welsh Fusiliers, is abroad on war services.
By Sevillana123 on Friday 16th May '14 at 1:50pm
3 images Some pictures of the headstone, taken 8 January 2015.
By John Stokes on Friday 9th January '15 at 12:18pm
A Rutlander, living in Belgium

Rutland and The Battle of the Somme

More than 90 Rutland soldiers died in the Battle of the Somme which lasted from 1 July 1916 until the middle of November. Today they lie in cemeteries across the old battlefield in northern France or are remembered among the 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. By using our interactive map, you can find out what happened to them.

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