ASTBURY, Albert Ernest

Unit / Base: 
6 Commando
7 Commando
Royal Artillery
Died : 
Wednesday, April 11, 1945
Killed in action or died of wounds
Sergeant Albert Astbury, No.6 Commando, died during operations in Germany [1]. At the time of his death his Commando were engaged in fighting at the River Aller crossing.
Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Astbury, of West Hartlepool, Co. Durham.
He had earlier served with No.7 Commando and was taken prisoner of war in 1941 [2][2a] but escaped in 1943 [3][3a]. He then joined No.6 Commando.
Extract from the Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail Tuesday 24 April 1945.
Sergt. Albert Ernest Astbury (35), R.A. who since 1940 has been attached to Commandos, is reported killed in action on the Western Front. In a letter conveying the news to his mother, Mrs. E. Astbury, of North Drive, West Hartlepool, his commanding officer describes him as very brave soldier and inspiration to his men. He was buried in Germany with full military honours. A member of a well-known West Hartlepool family with a fine record of service both in this war and the last, Sergt. Astbury was, in civil life, Scottish representative of Messrs. Pharaoh Gane and Co., timber merchants. He was called up as a Territorial when war began, and in 1940 volunteered for Commando. Soon afterwards he went to the Middle East, and was taken prisoner in April 1941 during the combined operations raid on Bardia. He was held prisoner in Italy for two years and seven months but escaped when Italy capitulated, and reached the Eigth Army lines after six weeks in the mountains. Shortly after his return home he again volunteered for Commando and went to the Western Front early in February. He crossed the Rhine with the Commandos at Wesel, and only last week members of his family saw him in a news film at a local cinema arresting a Gestapo agent at Osnabaruck [4][4a]
[1] CWGC.
[2] British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives file WO417/27.
[2a] Prisoners of War 1715-1945 Italy / National Archives file WO392/21.
[3] British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives file WO417/68.
[3a] Escape/Evasion Report / National Archives file WO208/5393/20.
[4] Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail.
[4a] British Newspaper Archive (website; The British Library Board.
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