Albert Maher had been a member of the Brightside and Carbrook Society prior to joining the army, and was known to be a hard worker by his colleagues. He had started working for them as a ‘flour boy’, and by working diligently rose through the ranks to become an assistant branch manager at one of the grocery stores.
He enlisted in the army in 1915, joining the York and Lancaster Regiment, 8th Service Battalion as a private. After fighting in France for two years, Maher returned to Sheffield in February 1917 to marry his fiancé Dorice Pitchford. Unfortunately, he was not married for long. On 28 May 1917 he was fighting in France when he was killed in action by enemy fire, aged 30.
Like all British soldiers, he was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Co-operative News, 30 June 1917, page 641.
WWI co-operative voices
This post is part of ‘WWI co-operative voices’ which shares the stories of co-operative workers and members during the conflict. In order to mark the centenary of the WWI, the Rochdale Pioneers Museum is staging an exhibition entitled ‘From shop floor to front line’ and the accounts of these soldiers, shop workers and conscientious objectors will run alongside it. They are tales of death, duty and of those who chose not to fight.
Through ‘WWI co-operative voices’ we will be releasing new posts about these individuals throughout the duration of the exhibition (due to open mid-May 2015 and run until May 2016). Read about the co-operative movement’s involvement in a war that shook the world by selecting a name from the column on the left. You can also follow us on social media for regular updates.
Follow us on Twitter and search #CoopWWI
We wish to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for supporting the ‘From shop floor to front line’ exhibition and project.