Mountain – Sergeant Albert

19 April 1896 – 7 January 1967:-

Albert was born in Leeds and worked as a hewer in a local coal mine. When the war broke out in 1914, he joined the Leeds Bantams before transferring to the Leeds Pals. The 15th and 17th Battalions amalgamated on 7 December 1917 to become the 15/17 West Yorkshire Regiment.

On March 23rd, 1918, Sergeant Mountain was in command of a rifle squad during the Battle of the Somme, in actions at Hamelincourt, France. When the situation was critical, Sergeant Mountain with a party of 10 men attacked an advance enemy patrol of about 200 strong, killing half of them. He then rallied his men against the main body of the enemy, to cover the retirement of the rest of his company. With only four men he held at bay 600 of the enemy for half an hour. Sergeant Mountain later took command of the flank post of the battalion, holding on for 27 hours until the enemy finally surrendered. For most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy, he was awarded the Victoria Cross on June 7th, 1918.

He was also awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Médaille Militaire.

Following his discharge from the Army, he became chauffeur to the Lord Mayor of Leeds. In 1953, Albert became the landlord of the Miners Arms, Aberford Road, Garforth, near Leeds, where he remained until his death. There is a blue plaque on the building commemorating his achievements.

His medals are held in The Yorkshire Regiment collections at York Army Museum.

Filed under: WW1