Albert Edward Hyett was a 53 year-old Fire Guard within the Civil Defence Service when he was mortally wounded by enemy action in Bembridge on 16 May 1944 and passed away from his wounds on 19 May.
Albert was the second of four children of Thomas and Alice Hyett. Both parents and all children were born in the Gloucestershire village of Churcham, Albert's date of birth being 28 November 1890. The 1901 Census reveals that Albert's father was a 67 year old agricultural labourer. Albert was 10 at the time of the Census, his eldest sibling Florence was 22 and the youngest Ivey was just four.
In 1911 Albert joined the Somerset Light Infantry and served in the army for 21 years. With the Somerset's he fought through and survived the First World War and was engaged in the Third Anglo-Afghan War of May-August 1919 when he was felled and badly wounded. However he wasn't to be deterred and although his wounds rendered him incapable of further service as an infantryman he was drafted into the Military Provost Staff Corps and posted to the British Army of the Rhine in Germany and is believed to have remained there throughout the term of the BAOR until its withdrawal in 1929.
By then he had been married to Matilda Kate (nee Gouge) generally known as Kitty for long enough to produce three children. He left the army shortly after the disbandment of the BAOR and settled in Bembridge where a fourth child was born. The family resided at Wellington, Steyne Road. He earned his living as a gardener to various local dignitaries including Mrs Towers-Clark, Sir Terence Langrishe, Major C.C. Nainby Luxmore and Lady Lockhart de Robeck.
When the opportunity for further service of national importance reared its head again Albert was at the head of the queue for the Civil Defence Service and by the beginning of hostlities was an active Fire Guard of the Bembridge district.
On Sunday 14 May the Luftwaffe began a sustained period of several days low-level bombings of Island locations. Several fatalities had already been accounted for when the raiders appeared over the skies of Bembridge on 16 May. The County Press reported; A bomb which fell in the garden at the rear of a terrace of houses in the centre of a coastal village severley damaged about a dozen, making them unfit for habitation. There were five casualties, only one of which was serious, and a number of other persons suffered abrasions and slight injuries. The bomb fell in the open land in the centre of a quadrangle surrounded by a main road and three others, and it was providential that there was not a serious casualty list. The houses were mostly occupied by elderly people and young wives and children. Mr E. Hyett, who was outside when the bomb fell, was the most seriously hurt. His internal injuries necessitated an operation at a hospital where the four other casualties were also taken.
Albert passed away at the Royal County Hospital, Ryde, three days later. His funeral was held on Tuesday 23 May and overseen by Rev. H.M Humphrey. Albert's coffin was carried by his colleagues, ARP Wardens and members of the Rescue Service and laid to rest at St Luke's Cemetery.
Rest in peace Fire Guard Hyett.