Personal information about Albert Church

Below is all the information we have about Albert Church. As far as we know, the information is correct. However, if you find any errors or have additional information, certificates or pictures, please contact us so that we can update this page. Thank you.

Burial Information

Name on burial register:
   Albert Church
Burial register image
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Age at death:
Date of burial:
   17 February 1930
Abode at death:
(according to burial register)
   Headley, Kingsclere
Burial register information:
Book number: 1917
Page number: 143
Record number: 10741
Official at burial:
   G.H.W. Newbold (Vicar of Speen)
Source of information:
  Burial Register

Memorial Details

No memorial information available at this time.



Obituaries and Newspaper announcements

Albert Church
Article source:    Newbury Weekly News
Date of source:    13 February 1930
Copyright:    © Newbury Weekly News



The Late Mr. Albert Church
The death took place yesterday (Wednesday) at the age of 78, of Mr. Albert Church, at his residence, Headley, Kingsclere, after a long and troublesome illness, which he bore with great fortitude. He had been ailing for many years with heart trouble , but he continued to take a live interest in all the doings of the neighbourhood. He received a great blow by the death of his brother-in-law, Mr. Henry Booth, a few weeks ago, but the treacherous weather of the last few weeks proved too much for his weakened constitution.

He was a local man, born and bred, coming from a well-known agricultural stock and being connected with many of the farming families of the neighbourhood. He was son of Mr. Robert Church of Wergs Farm, Burghclere, and was educated at Henley-on-Thames Grammar School. He was one of twins, his brother Ernest, who was for many years at Ridgemoor Farm, Burghclere, predeceased him in 1918. The two brothers, Albert and Ernest, were in partnership for some years in the grocery business of Church Brothers of the Bridge. Afterwards, on the death of Mr. Edward Knight, of the Town Mills, he took direction of the Mill and the business in Bartholomew-street, which he relinquished in 19I3. For many years he lived at the Town Mills, during which time a most destructive fire took place, which necessitating the rebuilding of the whole premises. The house, although damaged, was saved by the work of the fire brigade. He was twice married, first to the eldest daughter of Mr. Edward Knight, of the town Mills, and afterwards to the present Mrs Church, who was also a daughter of Mr. Knight, and who has so devoted herself to her husband during the latter years of his life. After relinquishing the Town Mills, he lived for some time at Auckland House, Craven-road, and subsequently in the country Mr. Church took a very keen interest in all local events. He was on many occasions approached for nomination on the Town Council, but always declined, as he considered his other duties, especially his Fire Brigade work, took first place. He was a member of the Newbury Board of Guardians for a few years, and had a great interest in all forms of sport. He was an original member of the Newbury Bicycle Club.

As a fireman
It was as a fireman, however, that Mr. Albert Church made his name and did his life's work. He was one of the original members of the Volunteer Fire Brigade, joining after that most disastrous fire in the "Little Lane" when in 1879, the old Newbury Fire Brigade was tried and found wanting, principally owing to the lack of equipment. The Volunteer Fire Brigade took over the fire fighting for the borough and the district, and Mr. Church joined as a fireman. Under Captain Brice Wilson he was thoroughly trained, and passed through the various offices of branchman and sergeant, until in 1888, on the resignation of Mr. W.T. Toms, he took over the captaincy, which he eventually relinquished in 1910. His whole time and energy were devoted in looking after the welfare of the Brigade. He never spared himself, or his own men when on duty, being a strict and prompt disciplinarian. Time and money were of no object and he became one of the foremost fire chiefs in the south of England.

The town recognised his services, for on his retiring he was entertained to a dinner and presented with an address and a handsome rose bowl. The Brigade also did him honour, presenting him with an oil painting of the steam fire engine, the work of Mr Victor Corden. "Tatler," a great friend, in writing of "Skipper" Church, said "He has filled the office for some 22 years, during which time he has maintained the Brigade in a high state of efficiency and obtained the reputation of being one of the smartest in the kingdom. Mr. Church has always ruled with a firm hand, but his genial personality has also ensured the respect and esteem of all the members, whose regard for the "Skipper" is very sincere."

Mr. Church leaves a wife to mourn his loss and twin sons, one in Sydney, Australia and the other, who lost a leg in the war, in London.

The funeral, which will be attended by the Newbury Volunteer Brigade will be on Monday next at 2.30pm at Newbury Parish Church, while the interment will take place on the south side of the Newtown Road Cemetery where several of his fellow firemen have recently been laid to rest.

Funeral of “Skipper” Church
Article source:    Newbury Weekly News
Date of source:    20 February 1930
Copyright:    © Newbury Weekly News



Funeral of “Skipper” Church
Mr. Albert Church, who was a member of the Newbury Volunteer Brigade thirty years and Captain for 22 years, resigning in 1910, was laid to rest in the Old Cemetery, Newtown-road, on Monday afternoon. He had passed peacefully away on the previous Wednesday at his residence at Headley at the age of 78. Full honours were accorded by the present and past members of the Newbury Brigade to their “Chief”. The present members, in brass helmets and full uniform, the old members in mufti, lined the entrance to Newbury Parish Church, where the first part of the service was held. Afterwards, with their motor engine, they occupied a prominent position in the funeral procession from the Church to the Cemetery. Throughout the route the deepest respect was shown. Afterwards the members gathered at the Fire Station, where Mr. J. Rokeby Hallen, who was second Officer of the Brigade during part of Mr. Church's captaincy, paid a fine tribute to the “Old Skipper”. Members of the Hungerford Fire Brigade were also present in uniform.

Many old friends and townspeople, including the Mayor and Deputy-Mayor, were noticed in the church, at which the service was taken by the Rev. A. H. D. Newbold, the Vicar of Speen and the Rev. St. J. de la Bere, Vicar of Kingsclere Woodlands. The service was quit simple. The hymns sung were “On the resurrection morning” and “Abide with me.” The organist Mr. Bernard Ramsey, Mus. Bach., played “O rest in the Lord” as the coffin was borne from the church.

The mourners were Mrs. A. Church (widow), Mr. and Mrs E. H. Church (son and daughter-in-law), Mrs H.J. Booth (sister-in-law), Mr. Frank Comyns and Mrs Comyns (cousin), Mr. and Mrs. H.E.R. Turner (London), Miss Breen (Guildford), Mr. E. Salway (Devonport), Mrs. Hassell and Miss English.

This obituary entry is awaiting verification.
Blaze at Town mills
Article source:    Newbury Weekly News
Date of source:    31 March 1892
Copyright:    © 



Blaze destroys Town Mills
One of the most destructive fires which has taken place at Newbury occurred last night. The Town Mills, which by the irony of fate is the property of Mr. Albert Church, the Captain of the Volunteer Fire Brigade, was totally destroyed.

It appears from hurried inquiries made just as we were going to press, that shortly after 11 o'clock Mr. and Mrs. Church, whose residence adjoins the mills buildings, were awakened by unusual sounds, and on going to the window Mrs. Church was horrified to see flames bursting from the centre portion of the mill. 

Mr. Church rushed across the road to the house of Mr. Stillman, roused him and without delay sounded the fire alarm.

The clash of the fire bell and the sight of the flames soon brought two or three thousand people to the place, while the Fire Brigade were also there and at work within an incredibly short time.
Despite the fact that his property was in flames, Mr. Church was in uniform and took command of the brigade.

The steamer was got to work, and with a plentiful supply of water from the mill-tail some half a dozen jets were quickly playing on the flames.
By means of the fire escape, a line of hose was taken on to the top of the mill house, but the flames were raging so fiercely that for a time the men had to beat a retreat.
To save the mill appeared hopeless, as the roof was falling in.

The efforts of the firemen were therefore directed to save the house, and they succeeded in stopping the flames at the corner.
The manual engine was also brought into requisition, so that the Brigade was able to attack the fire with considerable success.

While the fire was at its worst it was thought desirable to send for the Hungerford Volunteer Fire Brigade, but it was found impossible to get a telegraphic message through.
But by dint of pluck and promptitude, the Brigade had got the fire in hand by midnight, although even then there was considerable danger to surrounding property.
The cause of the fire is unknown.


A telegram was despatched to Hungerford through the railway station, and the brigade received the call at 12.50 am and responded promptly. Their splendid new engine, four-horsed, galloped into the town at two o'clock, and were received with a hearty cheer as they arrove.
Captain George Cottrell and Lieutenant George Platt were in command and soon they had a jet playing on the fire.
An inspection of the house shows how narrow was the escape, the flames having burst through in to the kitchen.
Fireman Cooke, who was the first to get out on the parapet, was severely scorched.
The scene by the church is unique, the two streamers emitting clouds of sparks, the road covered with lines of hose and the firemen running hither and thither, still busily employed.
All that remains of the mill buildings are the bare walls, which stand out gaunt in the early morning light.

This obituary entry is awaiting verification.

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