Signaller Albert Williamson, MM, 5211, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 2nd/4th Battalion
Albert Williamson was born in Leeds in Summer 1897, the son of Fred Williamson and his wife, Hannah (nee Bell), who had married in Summer 1892. They had two sons, Harry and Albert Williamson, but Hannah had a son from an earlier relationship, Thomas Bell, who was also living with the Williamsons. Everyone in the household was born in Leeds.
In 1901, the Williamson family was living in Mossley, Lancashire, but by 1911, they were living at Nether View, Manor Road, Ossett where Fred Williamson worked in a local mill as a loom tuner and 14 year-old Albert was working as a plumber.
Albert’s army service record has not survived, but medal cards exist for two KOYLI soldiers named Albert Williamson. The most likely candidate is Albert Williamson with the service number 5211, which suggests that Albert was in the Territorial Force pre-war. His second six digit service number, 202313, would have been allotted to him in March 1917.
Albert Williamson was awarded the British and Victory medals, but not the 1914/15 Star, indicating that he did not serve overseas until after the 31st December 1915. The medal card does not record the award of the Military Medal.
There appears to be no local marriage record for Albert Williamson and the date of his death is uncertain, however, there is death recorded in Leeds in late 1975 of an Albert Williamson born in 1897, which is likely to be him.
"An Ossett Military Medallist - Another Ossett soldier has so far distinguished himself by devotion to duty on the field of battle as to earn the Military Medal. The soldier whose merit is thus recognised is Signaller Albert Williamson, of the K.O.Y.L.I., whose home is Nether View, Manor-road, Ossett. The particular action for which the medal was awarded is not yet known, but it occurred during the fighting for St. Quentin, and when the battalion was withdrawn from the fighting line for a rest the medal was presented to Signaller Williamson. The soldier who is 23 years of age joined the 2nd/4th battalion of the 'KOYLIs' and has been in France for nearly two years. He has been twice in hospital, once with trench fever, and once suffering from the effects of gas. In civilian life he was a plumber in the employ of Mr. John Hepworth. His brother is also in the army, and has served as a despatch rider." 1
1. "Ossett Observer"