b. 01/05/1893 Carnforth, Lancashire. d. 24/07/1971 Lancaster.
Albert Halton (1893-1971) was born at 22 Albert Street, Millhead, Warton, Carnforth, Lancashire on 1st May 1893. His father, Jonathan, was born in Bolton-le-Sands, and was a labourer, and later farm servant. He met his future wife, Sarah Farrar, at the farm he was working at. They married in May 1882 at the Church of St Cuthbert, Over Kellet. They had six children including Albert who was the youngest.
Albert was educated at Carnforth National School until 1906 after which he was employed as a farm labourer at the farm of Thomas Hilton at Over Kellet (the same farm as his parents worked and met at). By 1911, Albert had moved to work on the farm of George Phizacklea at Plumpton Cottage, near Ulverston, Lancashire. Later he worked for the London and North Western Railway and finally joined John Rigg & Sons, building constructors, as a labourer.
Albert enlisted in 5th King’s Own on 15th August 1915. He was wounded on the Somme on 22nd October 1916 and was evacuated to hospital in Aberdeen. He returned to France on 1st March 1917 after recuperation and joined the 1st Battalion.
On 12th October 1917 near Poelcapelle, Belgium, after the objective had been reached, Private Halton rushed forward about 300 yards under very heavy fire and captured a machine-gun and its crew which was causing heavy losses to our men. He then went out again and brought in 12 prisoners, showing the greatest disregard for his own safety and setting a fine example to those round him.
He was presented with the VC by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 2nd January 1918, and he was discharged from the Army in May 1919. He had married Emily Tatman in November 1918 at Lancaster. She was from Farnhill, near Skipton, Yorkshire and was a general servant in the home of a widow, Annie Davis. Albert and Emily lived firstly in Carnforth and later in Lancaster. They had four children – Victor (died as an infant), Elsie (also died as an infant), Joan and Dorothy.
After the war, Albert was employed by Carnforth Ironworks until it closed in 1929 and was then a gateman at Lansil Works, Lancaster until retirement in 1961. He served in the Lancaster Home Guard during World War Two.
Albert died in Lancaster Moor Hospital on 24th July 1971. He was cremated at Lancaster and Morecambe Crematorium and his ashes were scattered in Plot 38/6. There is a memorial park bench there for Albert. In addition to his VC, he was awarded the British War Medal 1914-20, Victory Medal 1914-19, George VI Coronation Medal 1937 and Elizabeth II Coronation Medal 1953. The VC group is held by the King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment Museum, City Museum, Lancaster.
LOCATION OF MEDAL:KINGS OWN ROYAL REGIMENT MUSEUM, LANCASTER
BURIAL PLACE: LANCASTER/MORECAMBE CREMATORIUM, ASHES INTERRED PLOT 38/6
Gareth Williams – Images of the replica medal group and framed biography at Carnforth Railway Station.