Sketch by Jack Chalker



Sing Something Simple


Albert returned to work with Derby Corporation Transport in May 1945, but due to the injuries he had sustained in Egypt, he would never again work as a conductor. Albert returned to work as a semi-skilled light labourer. He was a regular visitor to the out – patients department at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary for physiotherapy. Life was beginning to return to some kind of normality although Albert suffered from pain and stiffness in his leg and his knee let him down occasionally especially in wet weather. Unfortunately, Albert`s troubles were not quite over.

On the 9th of August 1945, Albert had been getting off the bus in Ivy Square at the bottom of Douglas Street, Derby, when he fell, again fracturing his left leg. This new fracture was a little below the earlier fracture. Albert had been stepping off the bus on to his left foot, when his left leg gave way and he fell. This new fracture along with the injuries sustained in the earlier accident, resulted in Albert suffering from an inch shortening of his left leg. He would have to wear a built up shoe and caliper for the rest of his days.

On March 2nd 1948 Albert lodged an appeal for a war pension, under the Pensions Appeal Tribunals Act 1943.


There are no better words to explain Albert`s appeal, than his own.

Appellant`s Reasons For Appeal. March 2nd 1948.

The reason I asked for an appeal was, if I had come out of the Army fit and well, I should have been a top rate driver by now in which the flat rate of pay is 100/-  and besides extra time for working on Sundays, also time and a half as well over 44 hours. So with that I have lost on the deal because of my disability. Then the firm had to make me a job, in which they classed me as an office attendant getting 91/6 and no chance of promotion.


And those of  his employer.

Certificate by Employer.

Mr. Morrell has been in our employ from 22nd August 1927 to 13th March 1941 as a conductor, and from 30th April 1945 to – still employed as an office attendant (light work owing to disability). On his behalf I would mention that he has been employed in the Omnibus Department of the Derby Corporation for the past 20 years and prior to his joining H.M. Forces he occupied the position of conductor. Owing to the injury he received through his service with H.M. Forces he was on return to civil life unable to perform his pre-service duty as a conductor and had to forsake the prospects of promotion as would normally take him to the position of Bus Driver. As an alternative Morrell was found employment as a labourer but with a reduced wage rate of 91/6 d., had he not suffered a war disability he would most probably now be receiving a rate of 100/- as Bus Driver. In view of his incapacity to earn the higher rate it will be appreciated if you will kindly bear this fact in mind when reviewing Morrell`s case.


Albert did eventually receive his war pension.


On a happier note, there was a new addition to the Morrell family on March 17th 1948, a baby boy, Kenneth Raymond, my dad.

Albert continued in his job with Derby Corporation Transport until his retirement in August 1967, a few weeks before my first birthday.

Retirement -1

It was to be a long and happy retirement, with Albert enjoying time with his family, time spent in the garden and enjoying  family holidays.


On the 11th of July 1990, Albert and Josephine celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

Derby Evening Telegraph -1

Taken From The Derby Evening Telegraph

Friday July 13th 1990

Sadly, Albert passed away, peacefully at home on the 25th of April 1991.


My memories of Albert are many, of family holidays on the Isle of Wight, working in the garden, his caliper standing in the hall at home in Carlyle Street and stories of his time as a butcher, which brings me to perhaps my clearest memory of Albert.

 He had worked as a butcher for Woolley`s of Derby, before taking up his job with Derby Corporation Transport, in 1927. In common with Albert, I too have spent some years in the meat trade. In 1984 I was working as a butcher for Steve Fletcher`s, family butchers on Harvey Road, Allenton, Derby. On one particular morning I was working on the shop window display, I looked up and Albert was standing outside watching me work. Luckily there were no customers in the shop at the time, I was able to go out and say hello and we shared a few words, typically, Albert didn`t spend long talking before we said our goodbyes and he went on his way, proudly I returned to my  work. There have been many occasions since that day, when I have thought, if only I could go back to that day in 1984, Grandad, there is so much more we could have talked about  …


It is appropriate that, I finish my work on “Albert`s War” today, the sixtieth anniversary of the 55th Brigade disembarking from the West Point on Singapore.


Paul Morrell.  January 29th  2002.






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[Alberts War] [To Leeds] [Winston´s Specials] [Cape Town] [Doolally Tap] [Singapore] [Suez] [Shitehawks] [Homeward Bound] [Epilogue]


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