Alban Martin Sharp was born in 1889 in St Albans, Hertfordshire. He was the second of three children of Thomas Sharp, a solicitor’s clerk, and Annette. In 1901, Alban was a pupil at a prep school in Hove where his uncle, John L. Sharp, was the headmaster. Alban matriculated as an Arts student at University College in Michaelmas term 1908 with a foundation scholarship worth £35. He rewarded this promise by passing his first year exams in Easter 1909 with class IV Honours in Classics and Literature. He was also active on the sports field, playing in the university’s rugby XV at full back, being secretary of his college’s team, playing cricket for the university’s Athenians side and his college, and also rowing for his college. He also underwent military training in the OTC, sufficient to pass his Certificate A in Michaelmas 1909. He rowed in his college’s Graduates Cup winning crew (see photo) in Epiphany term 1910, in a stirring race against Hatfield. However, by the end of that term, he was clearly having some academic problems as his attendance at chapel and lectures began to drop off markedly during the latter part of the term. In fact, his attendance was poor enough during the next term for him to fail to meet the required minimum to meet the residence requirement. He left without taking his finals. In 1911, he was a schoolmaster in Hendon, living with another uncle, Leonard Meyrick Meyrick-Jones at 150 Audley Road. Alban served in 15th London Regiment (Prince of Wales’ Own Civil Service Rifles) as a Private. The London Regiment was composed entirely of Territorial battalions and it is possible that Alban was a serving Territorial before the war. The battalion was on annual camp in August 1914 on Salisbury Plain and when war was declared they returned to their depot for mobilisation. The 2nd London Division of which they were part was concentrated around St Albans for training. By now Alban’s battalion had been designated 1/15th London Regiment as a second battalion had been raised in September 1914. 1/15th were billeted at Bedmond, just to the west of St Albans. Alban arrived in France with the rest of the battalion on 18 March 1915 as part of 2nd London Brigade, 2nd London Division, later re-designated 140th Brigade, 47th
Division. He was killed on 25 May during the battalion’s first major action, the Battle of Festubert. He is buried in
href="http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/2000035/BROWN%27S%20ROAD%20MILITARY%20CEMETERY,%20FESTUBERT">Brown’s Road Cemetery, Festubert, and is commemorated on a bench in St Albans Cathedral and on the war memorial at
href="http://www.stalbanshistory.org/page.aspx?id=603">St Peters Green in St Albans, where his residence is given as Theydons, Hall Palace Gardens.