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Bdr Alfred Valentine Preston RFA


mark.topham

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Hello

Can anybody shed some light on the following individual:

Bombardier Alfred Valentine Preston;

service number 34905

C Battery, 160th Brigade; Royal Field Artillery.

killed in action 27th September 1916

aged 17?

I have him as attending Wellington College 1913 - 1915

Thanks

Bom T

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BT

No service record apparent.

1911 Census gives him living at West Lodge Cookham Berks with parents, 3 sisters and 3 servants,age 12,so yes he was possibly 17 at the time of his death,though technically he could just have been 18 depending on birth date,1911 Census was,I think, done in April. His death is shown on SDGW as 29 September and he is remembered on the Thiepval memorial as he has no known grave.It also shows his residence at Cookham,and enlistment at Marylebone.

160 Brigade was part of the Artillery complement of 34 Division.Their War Diary is at Kew under WO95/2446 and runs from Jan 1916 to Aug 1918.Not digital yet. The Medal Card has no pre-1916 date shown so he would have landed at some time in 1916,maybe when the Brigade first landed in Jan,or maybe as a replacement later in 1916.

The date of his death was during the Battles of the Somme. The Division had already fought at Albert (1-13 July) Bazentin (14-17 July) Pozieres (23 Jul - 3 Sep) and part of it had fought at Flers-Courcelette later in Sep 1916.

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  • 8 months later...

Hello

Can anybody shed some light on the following individual:

Bombardier Alfred Valentine Preston;

service number 34905

C Battery, 160th Brigade; Royal Field Artillery.

killed in action 27th September 1916

aged 17?

I have him as attending Wellington College 1913 - 1915

Thanks

Bom T

Bombadier Preston was educated at Lambrook School is his earlier years and is remembered in the School Chapel where he once sat along with 21 other old boys who lost their lives in the Great War. He was last remembered to all pupils and staff during the School's 2014 Remembrance services. He will not be forgotten.

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Bombardier Preston's unit was 160th (Wearside) Brigade RFA a New Army unit.

Source: http://www.sunderlandecho.com/daily/Roll-call-of-city39s-bravest.3373340.jp

Public subscription helped raise the Wearside Brigade in March 1915, with shipyard workers and miners forming the heart of the new unit. But it soon grew to include an international flavour, with men from South Africa, America, Australia, Canada, Mexico, France and Argentina swelling the ranks.

Within months, the new soldiers were fighting on the battlefields of France. Grievous losses were suffered, while supreme gallantry was displayed.

The men of the 160th Wearside Brigade Royal Field Artillery fought in many bloody battles, including:

* The Battle of the Somme: July 1-August 20, 1916.

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Bombardier Preston's unit was 160th (Wearside) Brigade RFA a New Army unit.

Source: http://www.sunderlandecho.com/daily/Roll-call-of-city39s-bravest.3373340.jp

Public subscription helped raise the Wearside Brigade in March 1915, with shipyard workers and miners forming the heart of the new unit. But it soon grew to include an international flavour, with men from South Africa, America, Australia, Canada, Mexico, France and Argentina swelling the ranks.

Within months, the new soldiers were fighting on the battlefields of France. Grievous losses were suffered, while supreme gallantry was displayed.

The men of the 160th Wearside Brigade Royal Field Artillery fought in many bloody battles, including:

* The Battle of the Somme: July 1-August 20, 1916.

Thanks Ian

I am still amazed at his tender age and the fact he was a Bombardier (could be the old chestnut of lying about one's age)

Bom T

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