Queen’s Mediterranean Medal, 5762 Private Albert Trimby, Royal West Kent Militia, served after the war in the Royal Artillery, before being discharged as a Dangerous Lunatic, placed in Insane Asylum where he lived the rest of his life.
The sad event that changed his life, was noted in the Daily News, London, 1st September 1908, he is incorrectly called James:
“GUNNER IS BADLY INJURED
A serious accident was reported at Woolwich yesterday.
Driver James (Albert) Trimby, aged 26 of the F Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, was driving a pair of horses attached to a gun and limber down mill lane, when the horses dashed away for a distance of about 50 yards.
Opposite St Peters Roman Catholic Church the near hind wheel of the gun collided with an electric lamp standard, which was knocked down, and the Driver was hurled with considerable force to the ground.
He was picked up unconscious, and removed on an ambulance to the Auxiliary Hospital, where it was found that he had fractured the base of his skull.
He was removed to the Royal Herbert Hospital, where he lies in a serious condition.”
Officially impressed: 5762 Pte A. Trimby. Rl: W. Kent Regt” Unworn condition.
Confirmed on the medal roll which notes medal issued to him whilst on Army service 6th November 1902, having joined the Regular Army from 3rd Sept 1901.
Mr Albert Trimby, was born during 1881-2 in Weston Super Mare, Somerset.
His father James Henry Trimby was a Hairdresser and Wig Maker from Clifton Gloucestershire and his mother Clara was from Exeter.
The family moved from Gloucester to Somerset to settle in Hackney, London during 1891.
He had a massive family, being one of 10 children.
During the Boer War, Albert had joined the 3rd Militia Battalion of the Royal West Kent Regiment.
They earned the scarce “Mediterranean” Medal for being deployed to fill gaps overseas as the Army were moved over to South Africa, the 3rd Royal West Kents set off in early 1900 for Malta, they went out particularly early and became the “First Militia Battalion to be sent abroad since the Crimean War, the men were a little disappointed as they volunteered for South Africa wanting to fight but were passed over to fill the gaps in “The Mediterranean” stations.
The departure of his unit is mentioned in the Eastern Evening News, 4th Jan 1900:
“MILITIA OFF TO MALTA, CAPTAIN KENNEDY GOING
The 3rd Militia Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment, 1000 strong, bound for Malta, and the 9th Company R.E., numbering over 200, bound for South Africa, left Chatham this morning.
The former sail from the Royal Albert Docks, and the latter from Southampton.
The 3rd Royal West Kent Regiment will be the 1st Militia Battalion sent abroad since the Crimean War.
The greatest disappointment has been felt by officers and men at the destination being Malta instead of South Africa, as had been hoped, the whole battalion having volunteered for active service.
Captain J H Kennedy, Chief Conservative Agent for the Eastern Counties, goes with the 3rd Royals, of which he is Senior Captain.”
Having likely been bored of Militia Garrison service, as soon as he got home he volunteered to sign up for the Regular Army, attesting for service into the Royal Regiment of Horse and Field Artillery on 3rd September 1901.
He might have though he would be posted to South Africa, but instead he saw the following service:
Home, 3rd September 1901 – 13th January 1903
India, 14th January 1903 – 6th December 1907
Home, 7th December 1907 – 23rd January 1909.
On 23rd January 1909 whilst serving at home finishing off his 8 years term of engagement he was medically discharged.
he was declared as “A DANGEROUS LUNATIC”.
He had been serving with F Battery Royal Horse Artillery, and his conduct was said to be “Fair, has been a hardworking man”.
The strange shift in his mood seems likely to be attributed to the “Fracture to base of skull at Woolwich on 31st August 1908.”, it was also noted on his medical inspection upon his discharge that he now had a scar at the base of his skull.
His discharge papers were signed on his behalf, noting “Lunatic”.
Intended residence upon discharge: “The Asylum, Wells, Somerset”
He never recovered, and lived out the rest of his life in various Mental Hospitals.
THe 1921 records the “Ex-Soldier” as a Patient in the London County Mental Hospital, Dartford Heath, Near Bexley.
The 1939 Census also lists the “Soldier” as a Patient in the Bexley Mental Hospital, Dartford.
He died there in Kent during July 1947.