Albert William IDIENS (1883-1953)
Albert William Idiens (1883-1953), known as Bert, was a member of the Idiens family who lived at Wickhamford Manor for around seven years at the turn of the 20th century and were friends of the Sladden family.
Bert was born on 24th December 1883, the second of seven children of John and Alice Idiens. Bert grew up at their home in High Street, Evesham. Around 1899, his parents took on the tenancy of Wickhamford Manor and quickly became involved with the local community. At the time of the 1901 census, Bert was living at Wickhamford; his occupation was as an articled clerk to a solicitor.
By 1911, the Idiens family had left Wickhamford and moved to Poole; 27-year-old Bert had gone with them and was now, together with his younger brother, Walter Cyril, working as a market gardener.
On 13th March 1912, Bert sailed from Bristol with Canadian Northern Steamships Ltd on “Royal Edward”, bound for Halifax, New Brunswick; he gave his occupation as estate agent. His sister, Daisy, had gone out the year before and, very soon, other members of his family were to follow.
Bert joined the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force (No 77362) on 10th November 1914 in Victoria, British Columbia. On his Attestation Paper he stated that he had already served in the Yeomanry for 2 years and was a solicitor.
Several letters written in 1915 mention Bert. Bert was wounded in France in May 1915; Arthur Sladden, based in Rouen, came across Bert in a convoy of wounded just starting for England. Jack Sladden went to visit Bert in hospital in England. A letter from Ethel Sladden to her mother on 26th November 1915 revealed that she had received a letter from Bert’s sister, Doris, who said that Bert had been given a safe job for a bit, working in the Estate department of the Army Pay and Record Office.
Bert married Margaret Elsie Jean Reid at Royal Oak, Canada, on 14th August 1924. He died at Sidney, Canada, on 3rd July 1953, aged 69.