Monday, October 27, 2014

1689 Trooper Alfred Stringer, Reserve Household Bn

Alfred Stringer first appears in Chailey’s parish magazine in a special list of attested men in April 1916.  He is noted as medically unfit but this does not appear to have deterred the military authorities from conscripting him into His Majesty’s forces. 

According to the three surviving pages of his service record held in the WO 364 pension series at the National Archives in Kew, Alfred was “deemed to have been enlisted” on 16th November 1916.  He was then nearly 34 years old and living at 2 Coppards Bridge, Chailey.  His trade is given as gardener. 

Alongside the question, “Have you any preference for any particular branch of the service, if so, which?” are scrawled the letters, R E (Royal Engineers). Alfred though, was assigned to the Reserve Household Battalion and given the number 1689.  

Alfred was five feet seven and a half inches tall and was a married man.  He had married Margaret Mackintosh in Bedfordshire on 19th October 1909 and the couple had two children: Doris Annie Stringer (born at Ilkeston, Derbyshire on 9th August 1910) and Eva Maud Stringer (born at West Hoathly, Sussex on Christmas Day 1913).

In January 1917 Chailey Parish Magazine notes that Alfred is attached to the 2nd Lifeguards as a trooper and on May 18th 1917, The East Sussex News reported that “Trooper A Stringer, whose home is at Coppard’s Bridge [Chailey], is in hospital with a wound in the shoulder, received in action.”  Chailey Parish Magazine duly reported the fact that he had been wounded the following month and this information was then repeated monthly up to and including May 1918.” 

Alfred enlisted on the 2nd March 1916 and his service record notes that he was in England until 23rd February 1917 and thereafter overseas.  He received a severe gunshot wound to his shoulder on 3rd May 1917 and was discharged from the army on 29th January 1918 as no longer physically fit for war service. He was 35 years old at the time of his discharge in 1918.
Medal index card courtesy of Ancestry.

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