Albert Ernest Pickthorn


Albert Ernest Pickthorn


First World War

Date of Death / Age


Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Lance Corporal
Australian Infantry, A.I.F.
28th Bn.

Awards: Service Medals/Honour Awards

1914 /15 Star, British War and Victory medals

Cemetery/Memorial: Name/Reference/Country


Headstone Inscription

No Report

UK & Other Memorials

Northchurch Village Memorial, St Mary’s Church Window, Northchurch, Not on the Tring memorials, We are not aware of any Cow Roast memorial

Pre War

Albert Ernest was born in 1888 in Cowroast, (Wigginton), Herts to Thomas Pickthorn , a Lockkeeper on Grand Junction Canal ,and Sarah Miriam (nee Busby).

He had an elder brother and 2 older sisters. The family lived in the canal house at Cowroast Lock, now a part of Northchurch.  Albert’s occupation was given as Gardener. He left UK for Australia (Fremantle, Perth) on 13th April 1911 on board SS Pakeha arriving on 18th May 1911

Wartime Service

 Albert’s Australian Imperial Force service records that he enlisted on 4th March 1915 at Blackboy Hill Camp, Perth into ‘B’ Company 28 Battalion Australian Imperial Force when he was 26 years and 9 months old. He was 5’ 9”, 125lbs, thin with only a 33 ½” chest. Fair complexion, with grey eyes and fair hair.

His Battalion embarked on the H.M.T. Ivernia on 4th Sept 1915 heading for Gallipoli from Alexandria.  The Battalion was engaged in the defence of the ANZAC perimeter until the Evacuation on 19th Dec 1915 Albert landed in Alexandria from Mudros on 10th Jan 1916.

He was admitted to hospital From Ferry Post Camp on the Suez Canal on 24th Feb and then admitted to the 7th Field Ambulance in Ismalia with Sciatica on the same day. He was discharged for duty on the 5th Mar 1916, re-joining his Battalion on the same day.

The battalion left Alexandria on the 16th Mar 1916 landing in Marseilles on the 21st. By the 23rd May he was back in hospital (No 2 AGH) with an infection of the middle ear. He was transferred to Base 7th June and then again to hospital with the same complaint, this time in Moussont. He seems to have left on the 2nd July before travelling to Etaples, arriving in the 5th July. Albert returned to duty on the 31st July 1916 and was promoted to Lance Corporal on 13th August.

He was reported as missing in action between 3rd and 6th Nov, before being officially recorded as killed 26th July 1917. 28th Bn AIF were engaged at ‘The Maze’ Flers near Albert on the Somme battlefield in early Nov 1916  and as casualties were high it probable that Albert went missing in this fighting. He remembered on the Australian Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France.

Additional Information

Albert’s effects: a photo, identity disc, clasp knife on chain, whistle, belt. Tooth brush-shield, handkerchief and letters were returned to his father at Cow Roast Lock, Tring in April 1917. He was also sent a pamphlet entitled “Where the Australians Rest” and then much later, in Sept 1922, Albert’s memorial plaque (the death penny) was received.


Neil Cooper
Jonty Wild,, first-world-war-database National Archives of Australia