Lance-Corporal Albert Stephen Mills

Regiment: 3rd Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment
Service No.: G1000
Date and place of birth: 1st quarter 1896 in Midhurst registration district.
Date and place of death: 14 December 1915 at 2nd Eastern General Hospital, Hove, Sussex

Lance Corporal Albert Stephen Mills was born in 1896 within the Midhurst registration district. His father died when he was three and his mother re-married in 1899. He enlisted at Chichester with the Royal Sussex Regiment and was later promoted to Lance-Corporal. He died of tubercular meningitis in hospital in Hove in December 1915 when he was only 19 and his body was brought back to Linch for burial.

Family background

Albert Mills was born in the first quarter of 1896 and his birth was registered in the Midhurst district. In subsequent sources the precise place of his birth is given variously as Fernhurst, Woolbeding and Linch. He was the son of William Edward Mills (1869 – 1899) and Eva Mills (née Stacey or Stacy). His father was listed as a farm labourer at Wardley in Iping parish in the 1891 census and the family lived next door to Albert’s paternal grandfather. Albert’s parents married in 1888 and there were at least four children of the marriage.

However early in 1899 Albert’s father died at the age of 30, leaving the family without a bread-winner. In the final quarter of the same year, 1899, Albert’s mother married again, this time to James Boxall another farm worker and the family is next seen on the 1901 census in Henley in Easebourne parish with the four children of the first marriage and a six month old daughter.

By 1911 the family had moved to Redford, near Midhurst where James Boxall was working as a farm labourer. There was now another son aged 7 but Albert was still at home and listed as an “odd boy in garden” in the census.

Military service

Albert enlisted at Chichester into the Royal Sussex Regiment. He saw service with the Third Battalion and was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal.

Death and commemoration

Albert Mills was sent home from France and died in the Second Eastern General Hospital on 14 December 1915. The cause of his death is given as ”tubercular meningitis”. His body was brought back to his family and buried at Linch. His death is noted on the War Memorial there in addition to the listing on the Iping Memorial in the parish where he spent his early life.

 

Note

Albert Mills’s middle name is registered as “Stephen” on both his birth and his death. The Iping war memorial lists this as “Steven” and some of the military records reflect this. The name in its registered form is used in this biography.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project