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Albert Ernest Adams was born in Toronto on 12 July 1898. His father was Ernest Albert Adams, a bread wagon driver, and his mother was Sarah Heighes. Lying about his age in order to fight in the First World War, Adams volunteered with the 134th Battalion on 27 January 1916, after seven months served already as a private with the 48th Highlanders. By June 1916, while training at Camp Niagara, he received word that his parents had separated. Subsequently, after a short period at Camp Borden, Adams departed for England, arriving by the beginning of August 1916.
He trained at Aldershot and was then assigned to Camp Witley in Surrey as an instructor in musketry, earning the nickname "Babe" for being the youngest sergeant. Later, in March 1917, he took a machine gun course. One year later, in March 1918, he was transferred to 3rd Canadian Machine Gun Battalion, No. 1 Company, training briefly at the Canadian depot at Searford before shipping off to France within the month. He survived the battle of Amiens in August, but on 24 September 1918 a German aircraft dropped a bomb on the A and C batteries of No. 1 Company, killing over 30 men including Adams. He was buried in Wanquetin Communal Cemetery Extension at Pas de Calais, France.