Death of Roy Woodhams – one of The Alberts dead |
Private Roy Woodhams, of Worple Way, was just 17 when he was killed on 30 November 1917. He fell in the Battle of Cambrai, a British Offensive against the Germans that is remembered as the first time tanks were successfully used in a combined operation.
A Private in the 7th battalion, East Surrey Regiment, Roy is commemorated on the memorial board of the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Richmond and on the Cambrai Memorial. He has no known grave.
Roy was born in 1900, baptised at St Mary Magdalene’s. Given the date of his death, and the official age of enlistment being 18, it seems clear he lied about his age to join the army. Many boys on all sides were caught up in the excitement, the romance, the propaganda of the war and were eager to serve. As the war dragged on an recruitment of eligible men slowed, army officials were known to turn a blind eye to underage boys wanting to enlist.