Albert Lister

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Bentham, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom

General information

Church of England

Army information

Canadian Expeditionary Force
Lance Corporal
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
 —  Canadian Infantry, 7th Bn. (1st British Columbia)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Fosse Wood, Zillebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
Panel: Panel 18 - 28 - 30.

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Albert was born in 1889, the eldest of three sons of John and Elizabeth Lister. At the time of the 1911 census Albert is recorded as being 21 living on Station Road Low Bentham with his Mum and Dad. Grown up, Albert worked as a Blacksmith having served his apprenticeship with John Howson in High Bentham. In his spare time Albert enjoyed sports playing football for Bentham Wanderers and the Cricket Club in Low Bentham.

Around that time there must have been quite a lot of talk going on around Bentham of the good opportunities available to young men in Canada, John Leeming had just left Bentham in February 1912, as had Maurice Bolton and his brothers Herbert and Lawrence, other Bentham men would also go to Canada, since perhaps this was too good an opportunity not to miss and Albert left Bentham for a new life in Canada in March 1912.

When war broke out Albert enlisted on 29 April 1915 in Calgary, Alberta. He was eventually assigned to 7th Battalion Canadian infantry (1st British Columbia). After initial training, by mid-July Albert was in England stationed at Shorncliff Camp in Folkstone for further training, during which time he was granted some home leave in early September to visit his parents and friends in Low Bentham, Albert would not have been home in over three years since Emigrating to Canada. On this journey he was accompanied by James Carter, also from Low Bentham, who had also Emigrated to Canada.

Albert and the Canadians left for France in late 1915. In late May 1916, the Canadian Corps occupied the heights near Zillebeke. Its front line ran from the hamlet of Hooge over Hill 62 and Mount Sorrel to the foot of Hill 60. The positions between Mount Sorrel and Hill 62 are the only places at Ypres where the Allies held higher ground than the Germans. It was here that the Allies planned a large-scale attack.

The German attack in the morning of 2 June was the start of the Battle of Mount Sorrel. After heavy shelling, the Germans detonated four mines at Mount Sorrel that afternoon. The Württemberger troops then overran the high ground.

Canadian reinforcements, including the 7th Battalion, were rushed to the front. After marching all night, they launched a hastily improvised attack. At the starting positions, confusion reigned. The Canadian battalions went into the attack one by one, not knowing whether the men next to them would be able to follow. Meanwhile, it was full daylight. The shelling was murderous. Only small groups managed to reach German lines. The Canadians did not succeed in taking back the high ground but were able to dig in at the foot of the ridge.

The 7th Battalion led the attack on the right, advancing through Fosse Wood and Armagh Wood towards Observatory Ridge. The attack failed to recapture the Mount Sorrel-Tor Top ridge. However, the Canadian did regain a foothold on Observatory Ridge. Once in their new positions, the Canadians were subjected to heavy shelling. There was next to no cover, as the German bombardment had already blasted the positions on the previous day. Throughout the following day the German artillery rained down shells, the men spent the day of June 3rd in the open, trying to seek shelter. The 7th Battalion suffered heavy casualties.

Albert was killed on 3 June 1916 in Fosse Wood by a German shell. The 26-year-old was buried at Fosse Wood, but his grave couldn’t be located after the War. Albert is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. A memorial service was held for Albert at St John’s Low Bentham with the Rev Percy Coates presiding. Albert is remembered on the memorial plaque at the Town hall on Station Road, also on the Roll of Honour at St Margaret’s Church and similarly the memorial plaque at the Methodist Church.

Albert was the 8th man from Bentham to be killed, he was 26.

Files 1

Sources 4

Hartley Allan & Hartley Marilyn, Bentham’s Part in the Great War 1914-18 (High Bentham: s.n., 2019).
Sources used
Personnel Records of the First World War (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC) RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 5670 - 16).
Sources used
War Graves Registers: Circumstances of Death (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC), RG 150, 1992-93/314; Volume Number: 206).
Sources used
War Graves Registry: Commonwealth War Graves (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC): RG150, 1992-1993/314, Box 39-244; Box: 90).
Sources used