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Unseen Salford Treasures: Memorial Plaque to WW1 Patricroft soldier Albert Johnson

Now on show at Salford Museum and Art Gallery is a five-inch bronze memorial plaque to a local soldier killed in action in the First World War.

In 1914 Private Albert Johnson left behind his mother Sarah Ann and father John Johnson and his home in Cawdor Street in Patricroft to join up with the 10th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

Described by his platoon officer as a man “always cheerful and patient in difficulties”, 40-year-old Johnson survived two years of fighting but was injured on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on 1 July 1916, when hundreds of Salford men were cut down by German machine guns.

Despite being shot in the neck Johnson made a slow but full recovery, and was patched up before being sent back into battle.

He was killed just four weeks later.

Albert Johnson

The Johnson family were issued with a Next of Kin Memorial Plaque in his name, which can now be seen at the Museum on the Crescent in Salford.

Designed by sculptor and medal-maker Edward Carter Preston, the plaques were forged in bronze and inscribed with the name of the serviceman or woman who died as a consequence of war.

Each would come to the family with a commemorative scroll signed by King George V.

They were popularly known as the ‘dead man’s penny’ and around 1.3 million were issued to families in Britain.

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.