ID: IYS_154 / Edwin Sparrow

TitleAlfred Charles Francis died 3 June 1917

Rank: Serjeant
Regiment: Royal Field Artillery: "D" Battery. 58th Brigade
Age 23
Date of death 3 June 1917
Service No. 68105

Alfred was the son of Alfred and Eliza Francis. Alfred was born in Salcott and Eliza was born in Tolleshunt D'Arcy. Later records have them at Old Hall Lane, Tolleshunt D'arcy, but in 1911 they were at Sherwin Cottages, Abbots Wick Lane, Great Wigborough. Alfred had 4 younger sisters and two younger brothers. In 1911 he was working as a Farm Labourer, age 17.

His medal card shows a different service number: - Francis, Alfred C Royal Field Artillery number 68105 Driver & Royal Field Artillery 68105 Serjeant. He went overseas initially with 37th Brigade on the 23rd August 1914.

The 58th Brigade was formed as part of the New Kitchener Armies and assigned to the 11th Division from its formation in September 1914. The Division came into existence of Army Order No.324, issued on 21st August 1914, authorising the formation of the six new Divisions of K1. It was formed of volunteers, under the care of the War Office. Initially without equipment or arms of any kind, the recruits were judged to be ready by late spring 1915, and it was ordered to reinforce the beleaguered garrison on Gallipoli. 1 July 1915: sailed from Liverpool, landing Alexandria, and on to Mudros, completing concentration by 28 July 1915. 7 August 1915: landed at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli. 21 December 1915: withdrew from Gallipoli, to Egypt. July 1916: landed at Marseilles, spent remainder of the war on the Western Front. He died in the prelude to the Battle of Messines in Flanders, 7th-14th of June.

Alfred was awarded the 1914 Star for France (The "Mons" Medal), The British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal

Alfred is buried in La Clytte Military Cemetery, West Flanders, Belgium, Ref. VI. A. 9.
He is commemorated on the War Memorial in Great Wigborough Parish Church

Read More:
Great Wigborough War Memorial

From If You Shed a Tear by Ted Sparrow, Part 2.
13 July 2020 formatted for web by Tony Millatt. Added more information about Alfred's family and the fact that they lived in Great Wigborough.

Edwin Sparrow obtained special dispensation from a number of agencies including the CWGC and The War Graves photographic project regarding copyright on their material used in "If YOu Shed a Tear". The IWM granted a non commercial licence for their material used in the book, in view of the nature of the book being commemorative rather than published for commercial reasons.

AuthorEdwin Sparrow
SourceMersea Museum