27-year-old Albert Theodore Vardy from Lapworth was killed on 4th July 1916, serving as a Second Lieutenant with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was the only son of parents Rev. Albert Richard Vardy and Isabel Mary and was born on 7th August 1888, being baptised at Lapworth on 5th November 1888. He had two older sisters, Winifred Isabella (1874-1931) and Constance Mary (1885-1899).
He had attended West House School, Edgbaston and King Edward’s School, Birmingham, where his father was Headmaster from 1872 until his death from a paralytic stroke, aged 58, in July 1900. Early in his career, Rev. Vardy had been a tutor in the family of writer, Anthony Trollope.
After leaving King Edward’s, Albert Vardy went on to study at Shrewsbury School and then, in 1907, to Pembroke College, Cambridge where he studied classics. On taking his degree, he was appointed classics master at Highgate School, London. On the 1911 census, he appears as a “Graduate in residence” boarding with two Cambridge University undergraduates at Castleton Post Office, Derbyshire.
On the outbreak of war, he joined the Public Schools Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, and obtained a commission in the Special Reserve of Officers in April 1915. He was appointed Second Lieutenant with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment on 20th December 1915 and was sent abroad in May 1916.
He was killed instantaneously on 4th July 1916, whilst helping a wounded officer from his battalion, who also died. Second Lieutenant Albert Theodore Vardy is buried at Dantzig Military Cemetery and is also commemorated locally at Lapworth and Rowington, as well as on the Roll of Honour at St Paul’s Church, Finchley, north London, and at Christ Church, Warminster (birthplace of his father).
Lest we forget by Peter A. J. Hill notes that Lt Vardy’s name appears on the Roll of Honour in Lapworth Church but not on the war memorial, although he is listed on Rowington’s war memorial as the family had lived at various times in both Lapworth and Rowington parishes. He is also commemorated on the Vardy family grave in the church at Lapworth beneath the lime trees:
“ALSO IN MEMORY OF ALBERT THEODORE VARDY M.A. / 2ND LIEUTENANT ROYAL WARWICKSHIRE REGT / ONLY SON OF THE REV ALBERT RICHARD VARDY / BORN AUGUST 7TH 1888 / KILLED AT THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME / JULY 4TH 1916 / IN CHRIST SHALL ALL LIVE.”
If you have any more information about the family, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6977