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

3 Introduction/Preface by Alan Feasey When my cousin Bob sent me copies of all the letters and paperwork he had found when he was clearing out his mother’s flat and I had read the letters written by my Grandfather Albert John Feasey I was determined to trace where he was when he wrote them. When I was growing up I was just told that your Grandfather had been killed in the First World War I cannot even remember that I knew his name. I visited the National Archives in Kew in 2005 to see if I could find the War Diaries of the 11 th Rifle Brigade. I was handed a box of very flimsy papers but none of them covered the period of the letters which was January to May 1918. In April 2013 the Bedfordshire Family History Society arranged a social visit to Kew, the day did not start very well as the winter snow came back. But in retrospect this was an advantage because there were not many visitors at the Archives so after an initial period of wandering around I spoke to the man on the Military help desk and explained what I wanted to find. He quickly went online and informed me that the 11 th Rifle Brigade Diaries were now available on line. After a short introduction/training I was able to come away with about 10 x A3 Copies of pages from the diaries including the ones that stated that Rifle A Feasey had been wounded in March 1918 and had died of his wounds on the 25 th May 1918. According to the diarist “Nothing of importance except shelling of support reserve line” happened on the 25 th May 1918! When I got home I was able to download the 4 Pdf files containing over 800 pages for the princely sum of £3.65 approx. Now started the rather tortuous journey of transcribing the diaries with 2/3 fingers. I started from May 1916 when AJF signed up and went through to December 1917 just before the first letter dated 1 st January 1918. I found the diaries very absorbing and when I wanted further background information then Google was there. The diary is in 3 parts 1. The day to day events; 2. Casualties; 3 Operation orders I have created separate files for these 3 parts. I have only completed the operation orders to April 1917 so far. But while I was typing up the diaries to December 1917 I was thinking of the best way to present the War Diaries and to incorporate AJF Letters the following pages are the result I now know a lot more about my Grandfather Albert his height(5’ 2”¾, weight 144lbs) obtained from his army records the way he talks through his letters and his feeling being so far away from his wife and “nips” that receiving and giving letters helped to survive long periods in that horrific event in world history It was never my intention to publish the finished article but to circulate only to family and friends Alan Feasey November 2014
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