Alford, Allan Charles George
Alford was born on 17/02/1894, and attended the School from 1909-1913. He served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army, with the Gloucestershire Regiment 10th Bn. attd. 3rd Bn.. Alford sadly lost his life on 03/09/1916, as a result of the War.
Alford was the second son of Rev. Sydney Field Alford, who was vicar of St. Andrew-the-Less in Clifton, and of Harriette Lucy Alford. They lived at 6, The Fosseway, Clifton. Younger brother to Sydney E, and elder brother to Marjorie Victoria, Kenneth Field, and Annie Elizabeth.
He is remembered on Thiepval Memorial, France, on Pier and Face 5A and 5B.
An Account of Service
A website set-up to remember those men associated with Cheltenham who served in the War compiled the following information from public records, the link can be found at the bottom.
Allan Charles George Alford was born at Bristol on 17th February 1894. His parents, the Rev Sydney Field Alford and Harriette Lucy Alford resided at 5, Windsor Terrace, Clifton, and later at 6, The Fosseway, Clifton, Bristol.
At the outbreak of war he was studying at Cambridge University and as he was a Cadet in the Officer Training Corps he applied for and was appointed to a Temporary Regular Commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Gloucestershire Regiment on 18th December 1914 and was posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.
The 9th Battalion was formed at Horfield Barracks, Bristol, in early September 1914 as part of Kitchener's Third New Army (K3) under the command of Lt Col H R Tufnell (who had retired in 1905 and been called back by the War Office). Ex-regular NCO reservists had also been called up to form a training cadre to bring the new Battalion and its recruits up to a basic standard to begin training for war. This training began in October 1914 when the Battalion was moved to Codford St Mary, near Warminster, and assigned to 78th Infantry Brigade of the 26th Division. Later, in November 1914, the units of the 78th Brigade were moved to Cheltenham (the HQ was billeted at Lansdown Crescent) to continue field training and then in April 1915 to Longbridge Deverill, near Warminster. Before moving to France on 21st September 1915, Major J Fane, who had commanded a Company of the 2nd Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment during Second Ypres, was posted to the Battalion and assumed command in preparation of the Battalion's introduction to combat operations and trench warfare.
Meanwhile the 10th (Service) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment had lost many officers and soldiers killed and wounded on 25th September 1915 during the first day of the Battle of Loos and 2Lt Alford, along with 8 other junior officers, were posted to this depleted Battalion as Battle Casualty Replacements. These officers joined the Battalion at Lillers in the Loos sector on 15th October 1915.
Whilst serving with the Battalion he suffered with a severe bacterial infection of the neck necessitating admission to a local military hospital on 12th November 1915, receiving treatment up to his return to unit 4th January 1916. The infection flared up again on 9th February 1916 requiring his evacuation to the Beaufort War Hospital, Bristol where he had an operation on his neck to remove the infection. He was discharged from hospital on 12th June 1916 and after a period of sick leave he was posted to 11th (Reserve) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment at Seaford to prepare for active service prior to returning to the BEF.
On return to the BEF he was posted for active duty with 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, part of 7th Brigade/25th Division. On 3rd September 1916 at 5.10am the 25th Division mounted an attack from the Hindenburg Trench on a well defended German position known as the Wonderwerk (map reference 57D.SE4.R31), south of the village of Thiepval. The 75th Inf Bde deployed two Companies of the Battalion (attached from 7th Infantry Brigade) in the centre, two Companies of 2nd Bn South Lancs Regt on the right and the 1st Bn Wilts Regt on the left. The attacking troops managed to enter the German lines, but due to stout enemy defence they were unable to consolidate and were forced to withdraw. Allan Alford was killed during these actions with fellow Gloucestershire Regiment officers 2Lt H C Bernard and Lt F W Terrell. His body was never recovered from the battlefield, or identified, and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
He is remembered in an "In Memoriam" notice placed in The Times published on 3rd September 1917 and is commemorated on the grave of his parents.
Allan Charles George Alford
Born: 17 February 1894
School dates: 1909-1913
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Regiment: Gloucestershire Regiment 10th Bn. att. 3rd Worcestershires
Died: 03 September 1916
Remembered: Thiepval Memorial, France
Reference: Pier and Face 5A and 5B
Memorial Site Map (CWGC)
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