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A Personal Tribute IN MEMORY OF RIFLEMAN 23368 ALBERT JOHN FEASEY Compiled by ALAN FEASEY From personal letters written by AJF And War Diaries of the 11th Rifle Brigade

2 Foreword by Robert Walker Genealogy is a fascinating and time-consuming hobby. Alan has devoted much of his time and energy into delving into the past and has traced our Granddad Albert John’s family tree back as far as 1695. In 2002 the project took off in a new direction, which no one could have anticipated. “Aunty Rob and Uncle Alf” - my parents - passed away in the spring of 2002 within a month of each other. Their flat in Southwark had to be vacated and the daunting task of clearing up began in ernest. Our “Nan” – Florence Purdom, - Albert John’s widow had lived with my parents for as long as I can remember, after the death of her second husband. She herself had died in April 1986 The packing and disposal of kitchen utensils had gone into its final phase when suddenly I discovered an old tin box tightly pushed up into a corner under the sink. Inside was a large roll of paper held together with a dry and fragile rubber band, which literally disintegrated when I touched it. The “roll of paper” proved to be a treasure trove of letters written to Nan by Albert John “from the trenches” in the period January - May 1918. There was also a letter, dated 6. June 1918 from a senior officer in which he enclosed a drawing by a Cpl. Dodd of Albert John’s grave. The letter and the drawing can be seen at the end of these “War Diaries” These letters and documents, completing a hitherto unknown part of our family history and filling in the many holes in the genealogical research were the spark which ignited the next stage of Alan’s fascinating journey into the past. The “War Diaries” coupled with excerpts of letters from the trenches give a new insight into our family history, and with its perspective shows how – despite the daily atrocities – life goes on in hope. The “War Diaries” honour the memory and celebrate the life and death of Albert John, who fell like so many others, in the horror of the First World War.
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