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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Pte Alfred Greenslade 1 Queens Own Royal West Kent

Will O'Brien

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As per CWGC


Initials: A

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment: Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)

Unit Text: 1st Bn.

Age: 27

Date of Death: 04/09/1916

Service No: G/12895

Additional information: Son of C. W. Greenslade, of 105, Peacock St., Gravesend, Kent.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 11 C.


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& the memorial info


Country: France

Locality: Somme

Location Information: The Thiepval Memorial will be found on the D73, off the main Bapaume to Albert road (D929). Each year a major ceremony is held at the memorial on 1 July.

Historical Information: On 1 July 1916, supported by a French attack to the south, thirteen divisions of Commonwealth forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt. Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defences were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank, the initial attack was a failure. In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed in an attempt to exploit the modest successes of the first day. However, the German Army resisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained. At the end of September, Thiepval was finally captured. The village had been an original objective of 1 July. Attacks north and east continued throughout October and into November in increasingly difficult weather conditions. The Battle of the Somme finally ended on 18 November with the onset of winter. In the spring of 1917, the German forces fell back to their newly prepared defences, the Hindenburg Line, and there were no further significant engagements in the Somme sector until the Germans mounted their major offensive in March 1918. The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial also serves as an Anglo-French Battle Memorial in recognition of the joint nature of the 1916 offensive and a small cemetery containing equal numbers of Commonwealth and French graves lies at the foot of the memorial. The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was built between 1928 and 1932 and unveiled by the Prince of Wales, in the presence of the President of France, on 31 July 1932. The dead of other Commonwealth countries who died on the Somme and have no known graves are commemorated on national memorials elsewhere.

No. of Identified Casualties: 72103

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Pretty sure I've found Alfred on the 1901 census as an 11 year old, born in Gravesend, Kent & living in the parish of Milton. He lived with his parents Charles & Eliza. Charles was a 49 year old General Gardener who had been born in Fawkham & Eliza was a year younger & from London. Alfred had 4 elder siblings..............3 brothers, Charles junior who was aged 20 & a surveyors clerk, William aged 15 & an office boy at a Gas works & 13 year old Harry. He also had a elder sister Alice who was 19 years old & a Domestic Servant

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Alfred's mother and father were already living at 1A Bank Street, Gravesend, Kent in 1881 with their 11 month old son Charles William. At that time Charles senior was a Greengrocer's Assistant but he was listed as having been born at Crayford a little distance from Fawkham. Eliza had been born at Heller Lane, London.

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Private Alfred Greenslade has a Killed in Action notice from the Gravesend Reporter dated 30th September 1916 on page 1

"GREENSLADE - On September 4th, Alfred, the youngest son of C. W. Greenslade, aged 27 - From Dad, Brothers and Sisters"

We often sit and of him think,

And tenderly breathe his name;

Nothing have we of him left

But a photo in a frame.

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