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  • Photograph courtesy of Lynne Weston
Person Details
Normanton Nottinghamshire
Albert Ernest was the youngest son of John and Annie Paling. John Paling (b. Halam) married Annie Gibson (b. Edingley) in 1890 (reg. Southwell). They had three sons, George b. 1890, Frank birth registered 1893 (J/F/M) and Albert Ernest b. 1896. In 1891 the year after their marriage John and Annie were living at Cork Hill Farm ('Mr Johnson's') where John was a farm bailiff. Their first child, George, was 4 months old. Also living with them was John's father, Thomas Paling (62), an agricultural labourer. By 1901 the family was living on Westhorpe, Southwell; John (42) was a farmer. He and Annie now had three boys, George (10), Frank (8) and Albert Ernest (4). Also in the household was Joseph Cook (16), a farm servant. However, in 1911 John and Annie were living at Constance Villa, Station Road, Southwell; John was a boarding house proprietor. All three boys were still at home, George was a carter at Merryweather's nursery, Frank a gardener at the same nursery and Albert (14) a miller. There were two boarders in the household as well as a six-year old boy, Arthur Michael Boynton, who was John's nephew. Albert's brother Frank served in the 1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters and was killed in action in France on 12 June 1915. Their father, John, died on 23 April 1932 and their mother, Annie, two years later on 17 August 1934. They were still living at Constance Villa, Station Road. The surviving son, George, was awarded probate of his mother's estate.
In 1911 he was a miller. When he enlisted in 1914 he was working for E Caudwell, miller, of Southwell.
14 Jul 1916
91538 - CWGC Website
Station Road, Southwell
1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Albert attested in Southwell on 28 October 1914. He served at home from 28 October until 5 June 1915 and then sent to France, arriving in France on 6 June 1915. He was promoted to lance-corporal on 15 December 1915. Albert was injured in the neck on 10 September 1915 and admitted to hospital, being discharged on 16 September. The following month, around 24 October, he suffered gas poisoning and was treated at No. 22 Casualty Clearing Station then admitted to No. 18 Stationary Hospital before being discharged to duty on 15 November. Albert was wounded in the trenches on 13 July 1916, suffering gun shot wounds (other source: German trench mortar) which resulted in a fracture of the left thigh. Initially treated at INMFA [Field Ambulance] he was transferred to No. 20 Casualty Clearing Station the same day. The following day, 14 July, his leg was amputated; the prognosis was poor and he died of his injuries at 4.50pm. Albert was buried in Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty (grave ref. I.H.11). A memorial service was held for Corporal Paling in Southwell Minster on 4 August 1916. He qualified for the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of Warlingcourte Halte British Cemetery (extract): 'The site of the cemetery was chosen in May 1916. It was used from June 1916 to May 1917 by the 20th and 43rd Casualty Clearing Stations, in February 1917 by the 1/1st South Midland, and from April to June 1917 by the 32nd. The whole of plots VII, VIII, IX and X were filled in April and May 1917, the months of the Battles of Arras. From June 1917, the cemetery was practically unused until the fighting of May and June 1918, when field ambulances buried in it. After the Armistice the cemetery was increased by graves brought in from the following small military cemeteries [listed].' (www.cwgc.org)
Albert's brother, Frank, enlisted in September 1914 (2344 Private 1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters) and was killed in action in France on 12 June 1915, buried Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery. (See record on this Roll of Honour) CWGC headstone personal inscription 'Rest after weariness peace after pain' Register of Soldiers' Effects: his father, John, was his legatee. His personal belongings, which were returned to his father at the end of 1916, comprised: disc, letters, photos, pocket book, purse, knife, pipe, 4 pencils, comb. Grave of George and Mary Gibson (maternal grandparents), Minster churchyard: the kerbstone has an inscription to their two grandsons, 'Frank Paling killed in action buried at Kemmel Belgium June 12th 1915 aged 22 years. Cpl AE Paling also killed in action buried at Warlingcourt France July 13th (sic) 1916 aged 20 years'. Newark Herald, 5 August 1916 (photograph): ‘Southwell Territorial’s Death' 'As briefly reported in our last issue, another Southwell lad, Corporal A Paling, has given his life for King and Country. The sad news reached his mother, Mrs A Paling, ‘Constance Villa; Southwell, from a nurse at a Casualty Clearing Station, who wrote as follows: ‘Dear Mrs Paling, I am afraid I have very sad news for you to-day. Your son, Corporal A Paling, 8th Sherwood Foresters, was admitted her on the 13th, suffering from wounds in the thigh. His wounds were most severe and extensive and he was very exhausted on admission. By next morning, the 14th he rallied a little and it was necessary to give him an anaesthetic to examine his wounds, when it was also found necessary to amputate his leg and very little hope was given of his recovery. This was about mid-day. During the afternoon he got much weaker and gradually sank and died at 4.50pm. He will be buried today in our little cemetery here. I expect our Chaplain, Mr Swift, will be writing you also. His effects will be sent to you in due course through the war Office. Please accept our sincere sympathy with you in your loss and believe me to be, yours sincerely, Sister-in-charge.’ 'By the same post Mrs Paling had a letter from one of the officers of the Sherwood Foresters, saying: ‘It is with the greatest possible regret that I have to tell you that your son, Corporal A Paling, was severely wounded in the trenches on July 13th, by a German trench mortar. Although his wounds are very severe I hope he will pull through; he has the pluck and stamina, and am thankful to say that the last report I heard from the hospital was that his condition was satisfactory. He was wounded in the thigh. He will be greatly missed in the Company, both by his officers and those who knew him more intimately, for he was loved by all. He was an excellent NCO and I looked upon him as one of my right hand men, I sincerely hope he will be spared you and that before long you will be able to see him,. Please accept my deepest sympathy. Believe me, your truly, John Wm, Turner, Captain 8th Sherwood Foresters.’ On July 22nd Mrs Paling received a beautiful letter from the Chaplain, telling of his burial. 'Corporal Albert Paling, better known to intimate friends as ‘Bab’ is the youngest and also the second of Mrs Paling’s sons to give his life a sacrifice for many. It will be remembered that he had just joined his brother Frank in the trenches when the latter was killed. Since then Corporal A Paling has been both wounded and gassed. He gained his two stripes in France, being made lance-corporal last Christmas and corporal at Easter. Before joining the Forces he was a keen sportsman, winning several prizes at Southwell Flower Show. His favourite game was football, and he played both for Southwell Town and City, winning a Newark League Championship medal in the season 1912-13, He also won a medal last year while stationed with his Battalion at Luton. Deceased was only twenty years of age, joining the Army at the age of eighteen. Mrs Paling wishes to thank all kind friends for their sympathy in her sad bereavement, A memorial service in memory of Corporal A Paling was held at the Cathedral last evening.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Newark Herald, ‘Deaths’, 30 April 1932: ‘Paling. On the 23rd last, at his residence, Constance Villa, Station Road, Southwell, John, beloved husband of Ann Paling, in his 75th year.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Photograph courtesy of Lynne Weston
    Albert Ernest Paling - Photograph courtesy of Lynne Weston
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty, France. Photograph Murray Biddle
    Albert Ernest Paling - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty, France. Photograph Murray Biddle
  • Grave of maternal grandparents (Gibson) with dedications to grandsons Albert and Frank, Minster churchyard, Southwell. Photograph Rachel Farrand (March 2017)
    Albert Ernest Paling - Grave of maternal grandparents (Gibson) with dedications to grandsons Albert and Frank, Minster churchyard, Southwell. Photograph Rachel Farrand (March 2017)