Second World War - Lynsted Memorial Project
Albert ANDREWS (of Doddington)
Sapper, Service Number 2126253
Albert was born in 1910 in Ashford and married Francis Elizabeth Mary Holdsworth in 1933. At the time of Albert's death, Francis was living in Doddington with there three young children.
Albert's detachment was serving in Italy in the troop landing zones. The Allies had realised the need for the landing zone for an amphibious assault to be organised for the efficient passage of follow-on forces. The British formed such units from all three services – the Royal Navy (Commandos), British Army and the Royal Air Force, with the Army component comprising Infantry, Engineers, Ordnance, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Medical and Service Corps.
The 34th Brick Mechanical Equipment Detachment, in which Albert was serving, was formed on 1 June 1943 at Kabrit Egypt around the 1st Battalion, Welch Regiment, they supported the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division during the Sicily Landings at Avola. For the landings at Calabria, they supported the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade on Fox beach north of Reggio de Calabria. They supported the Anzio landings with D Company of 18th Durham Light Infantry as the infantry component. Denis Healey was a Beach Master for this operation.
Their job was to:
- Arrange and control the movement of all personnel and vehicles from the landing craft to inland assembly areas.
- Move stores from ships' holds and craft to dumps in the beach maintenance areas.
- Develop and organise the beaches and beach maintenance area in regard to defence, movement and administration, including the evacuation of all casualties and recovery of vehicles.
- Provide the beach signal organisation.
- The removal to the UK of casualties, prisoners of war and salvaged equipment.
- The creation of dumps to hold petrol, ammunition and rations that were being landed.
- Assembly areas for the arriving personnel and their vehicles.
The infantry component was intended to be a fighting force if any pockets of resistance remained on the beach immediately after the landings. After the beach had been secured, the battalion was to provide manpower for any other tasks. The Royal Engineers were tasked with keeping the beaches clear of disabled vehicles, including the removal of stranded landing craft. Repairable vehicles were repaired in place or at a vehicle park.
Albert was killed in action on 1 February 1944. He was interred at Minturno War Cemetery, Lazio, Italy, to which many soldiers' bodies were brought in from isolated burial spots.
Frances remarried in 1952.