Alfred Edwin Sands


Date of birth: 2nd March 1892
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 10035
Rank: Private
Regiment / Division: Hampshire
Battalion: 1st
Died: 4th October 1917
Death location: Passchendaele


Family Life Before The War
Alfred Edwin Sands was born on 2nd March 1892.  His mother was Selina Sands,  formerly Wallace, born 1860 in Woolwich, London.  His father was Campion Sands, born 1851 in Winterton Norfolk.  Campion he worked as a Mechanical Engineer’s Driver (possibly a Fireman) on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway; also as a Steam Yacht Engineer Driver in 1891.

Alfred had two brothers – Joseph Albert born 1891 in Shepherds Bush, London and who served with the Royal Navy on the Pelonis, a British Geographical Survey Ship which served in Delagoa Bay South Africa.  His second brother was named as Frederick W born 1885 in Carlton, Kent.

When Alfred was born the family were living at 2 Saint Andrews Road, Southampton, Hampshire.

Military History
Alfred enlisted in the Hampshire Regiment and served as a Private.  He was awarded the Victory Medal, British Medal and 15th Star.  He entered the theatre of war in the Balkans on 5th August 1915 and fought in the battles of Le Transloy, Scarpe and Polygon Wood which went from 26th September till 3rd October 1917.  On the night of 3rd October 1917, as rain began to fall, it was decided the attack of the Battle of Broodeinde, Flanders would take place as scheduled on 4th October.

Forty minutes before the scheduled start time of 6am the British barrage with 1st and 2nd divisions Hampshire Regiments and the Australian divisions began.  They were suddenly hit by a German barrage which fell on the shell holes where they were waiting, there were many casualties.  It became the most successful Allied attack of the battle of Passchendaele with the British devastating the German defence.  Alfred was killed in action here on the 4th October 1917 and presumed dead.  Along the whole line the attack had been successful, giving the British forces their first glimpse of the lowlands beyond the top of the ridge since May 1915.  Of Broodseinde it was reported : “The day’s success was a very great one – indeed the most complete yet won by the British Army in France in that war.”

The 1st Hampshire went on to serve in France and Flanders until the Armistice.

Alfred is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial on panels 88 – 90 and 162.

The  following piece of information was supplied by a member of the public C.Olding July 2014, St Edmund’s RC church Catholic Magazine reports enlistment of Alfred as a parishioner. Baptism register St Edmund’s church has Alfred Edwin Sands born 19 April 1892 baptised 13 July 1892 of 2 St Andrews Rd to Campion and Selina nee Wallace. Priest Fr H Kelly. Godparent Sarah Elizabeth Coleman.
Brother Joseph Albert born 8 April 1890 baptised 24 May 1890 to Campion and Selina . Priest Fr Emmanuel Rivara. Godparent Maria Winscom.

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