Thursday, November 23, 2006

Alfred Agate - a post Armistice casualty

Alfred Albert Agate was born in 1894, his birth recorded on page 171 of the Cuckfield (Sussex) register (2b) in December of that year.

Alfred was the eldest son of Albert and Louisa Agate and was named after his grandfather. In 1901, the family was living at Glebe Cottage, Streat, Sussex, is father making a living as a Farm Labourer. Alfred (aged six) had two sisters and a brother: Daisy May (three), Florence Esther (two) and Henry Robert (five months).

In October 1914, Chailey Parish Magazine notes an Alfred Agate serving his King and Country. It is unclear however, whether this is Alfred Agate or his father Albert who is also listed as Alfred up until September 1915. Alfred would have been 19 when war was declared, his father 44. It seems more probable that Alfred, a young single man would have rushed to join up than his father who was getting on in years.

In October 1915 the magazine notes that Agate, Dvr A (jun) is serving with the Royal Field Artillery in France. From December 1916 until November 1918, the entry simply reads, Agate, Dvr A (jun), RFA.

Alfred Agate survived the duration of the war only to die eight days after the Armistice. In January 1919, his name was added to the Roll of Honour which appeared in Chailey’s Parish Magazine. It read: Driver A Agate, RFA, died sickness, Nov 19th 1918 in France. He was 23 years old and had served his King and county for over four years.

Alfred Agate does not appear to be mentioned in Soldiers Died In The Great War but the information held on him by The Commonwealth War Graves’ Commission fills in further detail.

At the time of his death he was 8531 Driver Alfred Albert Agate and was serving with C Battery in the 62nd Brigade of The Royal Field Artillery. He is buried in Douai British Cemetery, France.

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