Albert Hunt, the grand-father of our parishioner David Pilling, was a ‘Bury lad’. One of four children, after leaving school Albert quickly progressed from being a grocer’s assistant to grocery shop manager and in 1909 married Margaret (Maggie).
In early 1917, at the age of 30 and with two young daughters, Albert was called up and joined the Lancashire Fusiliers at the Regiment’s Barracks in the town. After training, Albert’s regiment was deployed to the Western Front in Flanders where, sadly, he was killed in action on 6th September that year, during the Third Battle of Ypres.
Whilst away Albert, like many soldiers, would write home and two of his letters were passed on to his grandson David and are now transcribed here. Both letters provide an invaluable insight into what life in the trenches was like for the many thousands of soldiers who went, before and after Albert, into the battlefields of Europe.
Albert’s second letter is the most poignant. Written on 5th September 1917, the day before his death, Albert sent the letter to his neighbours, Mr and Mrs Eccles, rather than direct to his wife Maggie. The letter was, however, passed to Maggie after Albert’s death and its detail subsequently handed on to David