|Date of birth:||1891|
|Place of birth:||Portswood, Southampton|
|Battalion:||9th Field Coy.|
|Died:||13th August 1917 aged 25 years|
|Death location:||Third battle of Ypres, Belgium|
Life before the War
Alfred was the third of 9 known siblings born to Alfred John Francis and Annie, nee Snellgrove, who married in Southampton in 1887. One sibling is unknown and it is highly probable that they died in infancy.
Alfred senior was born in Devon in 1863 and died in Southampton in 1929. Annie was born in Southampton in 1865 and passed away there in 1915.
The family lived at 64 Ivy Road, Portswood.
Alfred’s 8 surviving siblings – 4 sisters and 4 brothers – were:
Bertie Alfred b.1887 Portswood and d.1940 Portsmouth.
Frank Henry b.1889 Portswood and d.1972 Southampton.
Edith May b.1893 Eastleigh and d.1955 Southampton.
Beatrice Annie b.1897 Portswood and d.1982 Southampton.
Married Clive G Ridyard in Southampton in 1922.
John Frederick b.1899 Portswood and d.1953 Southampton.
Frederick Charles b.1901 Portswood and d.1974 Southampton.
Married Catherine G Edwards in Southampton in 1940.
Mabel Gertrude b.1904 Portswood and d.1977 Southampton.
Married Charles W Rogers in Southampton in 1943.
Lily Evelyn b.1908 Portswood and d.1986 Leicester.
Married Jack Vardy in Aldershot in 1939.
The 9th Field Company Royal Engineers served with the 4th Division when war broke out. The Division was held back from the original British Expeditionary Force by a last minute decision to defend England against a possible German attack. The fate of the BEF in France and the lack of any move to cross the channel by the enemy reversed this decision and the division landed at Boulogne on 23rd August 1914. They were in action during the retreat from Mons, at the Battle of the Marne, the Battle of the Aisne and at Messines during the rest of 1914.
In 1915 the division fought at the Second Battle of Ypres and during the Battles of the Somme in 1916.
In 1917 the Division relocated to Arras where it fought during the First and Third Battles of the Scarpe before heading north to fight in the Third Battle of Ypres from July. It was during this battle that Alfred would have lost his life.
Alfred is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.
|Published:||14th May 2015|
|Updated:||Insert dates here|
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