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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Alfred Ernest Hutchings


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I've been searching high and low for some WW1 records of my Great Grandfather. I only found out he served in the last week but have spent literally hours online searching for anything I can about him.

If anybody can offer ANY help I'd be very greatful.

Alfred Ernest Hutchings

Year of Birth - 1886/7

Place of Birth - Canterbury Kent

He spent his entire life in Canterbury until his death in 1949. His children found out after his death that he was gassed in the Great War. In WW2 he was a Aux Fireman in Canterbury city, often walking the roof of the Catherdal.

The details I have of him, I admit are very limited however if anybody could offer any advice I'd be very grateful. I'm hoping his location may help pin-point him within the records but I'm struggling to find anything, even searching for just Alfred Hutchings isn't bringing many results back for the area.

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There's four possible Alfred E Hutchings in the MICs - none of them with a Kent regiment, so no clues there, and another 40-odd Alfred Hutchings, so he'll take some weeding out. I have faith in the experts here!

In the meantime, this seems to be the family in 1901:-

Name: Alfred Hutchings

Age: 14

Estimated birth year: abt 1887

Father's Name: James

Mother's Name: Mary

Gender: Male

Where born: Canterbury, Kent, England

Civil parish: Canterbury

Ecclesiastical parish: Canterbury St Alphage

County/Island: Kent

Country: England

Registration district: Canterbury

Household Members:

James Hutchings 52

Mary Hutchings 50

Jane Hutchings 20

Rose Hutchings 18

Alfred Hutchings 14

William Hutchings 5

Robert Bowles 3

Dorothy Bowles 1

Sarah Earne 23

I wonder if William - or even Robert - fought too? You could try locating them on the 1911 census if you haven't done so already.

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There are three possible Alfred E as one of the four was killed in action.

Two of them were Royal Engineers and in the Waterways and Railways section,both were Corporals. One served in France from 4.10.1915,the other entered the war after 1915.Did your GGF have a job connected to Engineering or Boats or trains ?

Chatham in Kent was the centre for the RE.

The other soldier was in the Royal Army Medical Corps,who served in France from 22.9.1915.

If you have any more relevant detail,post it here.

Another possibility might be the local Absent Voters List for 1918 for Canterbury,it may have his details if he was away for the Election for that year.


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Many many thanks for the rapid replies!

I'm afraid the details are very sketchy indeed. My Grandfather died many years ago however I visited his brother, my Great Uncle who informed me that my Great Grandfather was in the Great War. The only details I have from my Great Uncle are that he was gassed, so I would think it would be one of the Engineers? As I would think the medical corps were out of range of any danger due to their job?

Other then that, the only other details are he was a Bricklayer (which points me to Engineers again) and that he was too old for WW2 so was a AUX Fireman in Canterbury, Kent.

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You might get help from the RE Museum:


which is at Gillingham Kent,and,I did think Chatham also,but I might be behind the times !

They might give you an idea from the service number (s) of the two RE soldiers which unit they might have served in.

1) Alfred E. Corporal. 105932 and later WR252601.Landed France 4.10.1915.

2) Alfred E. Corporal. 149904 and later WR254081.Landed in war theatre (NK)after 1915.

You can't yet write off the RAMC soldier ! He might have been at a Field Ambulance or even closer to the fighting units in an Advanced Dressing Station etc,and might just as likely have got a few whiffs of gas (they also used artillery shells with that ingredient),so,

3) Alfred E. Private RAMC 12123. Landed France 22.9.1915.

No records found in either service or pension for these soldiers.You may or may not know that over 70% were lost to enemy bombing in 1940.


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Many thanks Sotonmate -

Would -

1) Alfred E. Corporal. 105932 and later WR252601.Landed France 4.10.1915.

2) Alfred E. Corporal. 149904 and later WR254081.Landed in war theatre (NK)after 1915.

Would their attestation papers be on the national archive?

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I am not going to say it isn't ! The records should be on Ancestry UK now,BUT,you could look on the microfilm spool which covers your soldier's name:


always assuming that they are still available to spool through at Kew. You never know !


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Assuming you'd like to know as much about him as possible (and in the hope that some papers surface that can be pinned down to him), I assume this is his birth:-

Name: Alfred Ernest Hutchings

Year of Registration: 1886

Quarter of Registration: Jul-Aug-Sep

District: Canterbury

County: Kent

Volume: 2a

Page: 831

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