Sunday, August 1, 2010

Why St Petersburg?

Thomas Frederick William Steel Alban (1887-1978) was born in St Petersburg on 3 March 1887, then the capital of Russia. But why were his parents there? At least his mother must have been there. 

Two years earlier his father William Gore Alban (1860- 1906) served in the Sudan campaign, the British part of the Mahdist War. He was awarded the Sudan campaign medal with clasp and Khedive's star in 1885 for this service. He then travelled to London where in February 1886 he married Kate Newman, the daughter of master mariner Charles Phillips Newman. 

Thomas F W S Alban was their first-born and the longest surviving of their five children. The next two, sons, were born in Mandalay, Burma. One died in infancy; the other was killed in Belgium during World Ward 1. The fourth child, a fourth son, was born in Quetta, then in the North West Frontier, now in Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan; he died before his first birthday. The youngest, Kathleen, the only girl, was born in 1901 in Hampshire, England. Thomas Alban's father had retired from the army as a major in 1900 after over 20 years service. When he died at the age of 46 his three surviving children were aged 19 (Thomas), 14 (Harry) and 5 (Kathleen).

William G Alban, born in 1860 in Ahmadabad, India, had also been born into a military family which was serving the British Empire overseas. His father, Thomas Clifton Alban has become deputy Adjutant General for the British Army in India. William had a brother, Clifton Frederick Samuel Alban (1854-1935) who also served as an officer in the British Indian Army while another brother, Arthur David Alban (1862-1927) joined the diplomatic service becoming His Majesty's British Consul in Cairo, Egypt.

So overseas service was in the family. But why was the wife of Lieutenant William G Alban of the 26th Bombay Infantry in St Petersburg in 1887? Any ideas welcome.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Albans who lost their lives in WW1

Lieutenant Harry Clayton Alban, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians), killed in action 9 Feb 1915, St Eloi, Flanders, Belgium, aged 22 years 8 months, son of William Gore Alban and Kate Newman. His memorial /grave at Dickebusch Old Military Cemetery, Flanders.

Private Rollo Charles Stacpole Alban (born Benjamin Brabazon Yeates Alban) died 7 August 1915, aged 19 years and 8 months at The Nek, Gallipoli peninsula. Son of Clifton Frederick Samuel Alban and Florence Louisa Bailey. He served in the 8th Light Horse Regiment. Private Alban was an ANZAC as he fought on the Gallipoli peninsula, near ANZAC Cove. He arrived in Australia as a migrant in April 1914, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 14 Oct 1914 and died 10 months later. His memorial/grave at Lone Pine, ANZAC Cover, Gallipoli, Turkey

Lieutenant Clifton Frederick Alban (also known as Clifton Frederick Bailey) 59th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps and 7th Battalion, London Regiment, died 6 April 1917, aged 20, when he was shot down over France. He was son of Clifton Frederick Samuel Alban and Alice Ellen Bailey. His memorial is at the Arras Flying Services Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. He had married Doris Mabel Gregory on 27 May 1916 and died 10 months later. There were no children.

Harry Alban was a cousin to Rollo and Clifton Alban, who were half brothers (and half cousins) - same father, mothers were sisters. Three mothers and two fathers were grieving.

Oh, the pointlessness of these deaths and of wars involving young people. ANZAC Day 2010, Australia.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Arthur David ALBAN - service history

Born March 12 1862. 
Passed a. competitive examination on May 30, and appointed a Student Interpreter in the Levant, June 11, 1883. 
Promoted to be an Assistant, August; 1, 1885; and Vice Consul at Alexandria, February 1 1890. Acting Consul at Alexandria in 1890. 
Acting Vice-Consul at Beirout in 1888 and 1889. 
Acting Consul-General at Alexandria 1891, 1892 and 1894. 
Acting Consul at Jeddah in 1895 and 1896. Appointed British Delegate to the Quarantine Board of Egypt, July 1, 1897. 
Again Acting Consul- General at Alexandria in l897, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1902 and 1903. 
Promoted to be Consul, to reside at Alexandria, December 10, 1901; 
Consul at Cairo, for the Consular District of Cairo, March .27, 1903.
Was British Delegate to the International Sanitary Conference at Paris, October -November, 1903. 
Received the Coronation Medal, 1911. 
The maritime portion of Mudiria of Keneh was  excluded from the District of the Consulate, and a new Commission issued to Mr. Alban, April 1, 1918. 
Made an O.B.E. June 3, 1918. 
Promoted to be Consul-General at Alexandria, October 1, 1919. 
Retired on a pension, March 17,1924.

From an old newspaper clipping possibly published at the time of his retirement in 1924.