Albert Morton was born on September 21st, 1903, the second child of Alfred Edward Morton and Elizabeth Ann Morton (nee Vickers).
He had a childhood of poverty, with the family living in some of the poorer rooms in Leeds. When he was five the family were living in Blakey's Yard near Hanover Street and Albert was unlucky enough to be run over by a motorcar. This made the newspaper (Yorkshire Evening Post - Monday 26 April 1909)
"TAXI-CAB ACCIDENT IN LEEDS A five-year-old boy, Albert Morton, living in Blakey's Yard, Little Hanover Street, was knocked down in West Street, Leeds, last evening by a taxi-cab belonging to the Leeds Motor Cab Company, Wellington Street. The boy was injured about the head, and, on being taken to the Infirmary, was detained. According to several persons who witnessed the accident, the motor-cab was travelling at only a moderate rate of speed."
A couple of days before Albert's tenth birthday, he and elder brother Joseph Spencer Morton (who was 12) were taken to the magistrate's court after being found wandering the market in Leeds, barefoot and dirty. They had been sleeping there as well. The court found that their parents were incapable of exercising proper control over them, as they had been in court several times themselves, usually under the influence of alcohol. Joseph and Albert were both ordered to attend Shadwell Industrial School until they reached the age of 16.
Children sent to industrial schools had not always been found guilty of a crime but were thought likely to be criminals in the future (because of their circumstances or the company they kept) and so were sent to industrial schools for discipline and training.