Topic: Albert John Bryden

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Albert John Bryden (Service no. 24/57) was a First World War soldier with links to New Brighton and Halswell.

Albert John Bryden, 24/57 Albert Bryden was born on 20th May 1893 in Springfield, Canterbury. He had one older brother and six younger siblings.  Albert was educated at New Brighton School where he received a school prize in Standard VI form (reported by The Press, 26 December 1905). After school he worked as a Chemist's Assistant at W.R Cooke & Son Pharmacy on Cashel Street in Christchurch.

Information from Albert's Enlistment Papers show that he was 5'6" tall and had blue eyes and light brown hair. He was placed in the 2nd Battalion of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade A company in Wellington. On 9th October 1915 his battalion departed for Suez, Egypt.

Albert's battalion became part of the New Zealand Division in Moascar, Egypt. Destined for the Western Front, the Division reached Marseillesin April 1916 and entered the line in May south-east of Armentières. The Division was committed to the gigantic offensive on the Somme which began on 1 July. The Division, under I Anzac Corps (Birdwood) and then II Anzac Corps (Godley), staged 11 major raids (against four German ones) in three months and countless patrols on its 8-mile front.

Albert was killed in The Battle of Fromelles, aged 23. The Battle took place on 19th July 1916. According to reports afterwards, preparations for the attack were rushed, the troops involved lacked experience in trench warfare and the power of the German defense was significantly underestimated, the attackers being outnumbered 2:1. The advance took place in daylight, against defenses overlooked by Aubers Ridge, on a narrow front which left German artillery on either side free to fire into the flanks of the attack. The Battle of Fromelles had inflicted some losses on the German defenders but gained no ground nor deflected many German troops bound for the Somme.

Albert was buried in the Ration Farm Military Cemetery in Nord, France which includes a number of individual ANZAC graves from the Battle of Fromelles. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star medal which was actioned on 21st September 1923.

A memoriam notice was placed in The Press ,19 July 1920, for Albert and his brother Walter by their parents and siblings.


ROLL OF HONOUR.  Press, Volume LVI, Issue 16890, 19 July 1920, Page 1


He is remembered on the New Brighton School Roll of Honour and the Halswell War Memorial.


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Albert John Bryden

First Names:Albert John
Last Name:Bryden
Place of Birth:Springfield, Canterbury, New Zealand