Wednesday, April 08, 2015

376305 Private Alexander Plummer, 19th Durham Light Infantry

Alexander Plummer was the youngest of six Chailey brothers and one of three killed in the First World War.   

He was born in 1886, his birth being registered in the June quarter at Lewes.  He appears on the 1891 census, living with his family at South Street, Chailey.  The family comprised Charles Plummer (a 37 year old agricultural labourer), his 36 year old wife Caroline Elizabeth (nee Martin) and their eight children: Clement Plummer Martin (aged 19, an agricultural labourer), Ebenezer Plummer (aged 14), Emily Plummer (aged 12), Albert Plummer (aged ten), Owen Plummer (aged eight), Alexander Plummer (aged five), Annie Plummer (aged three) and Laurel Plummer (aged five months).  Another son, 17 year old William Plummer, was working as a cow lad and domestic servant for Thomas Farrant at Weavel’s Den, Chailey. 

Ten years later, most of the family is still living at South Street (although some of the ages do not tally with the information given on the previous census return and there are some name variations).  The family comprised Charles Plummer (aged 49 and now working as carter on a farm), his wife Caroline (whose age is given as 57) and seven children: [Charles] William Plummer (a 27 year old farm labourer), Albert Plummer (a 20 year old gardener), Owen Plummer (an eighteen year old brickyards labourer), Annie Plummer (aged 12), Laura N Plummer (aged 11), Dora Louisa Plummer (aged six) and Kate Elizabeth Plummer (aged three).   

Clement Plummer Martin, oldest of the Plummer children, was married (1896) with two children, living at 45 Church Street, Brighton and working as brewer’s labourer.  Ebenezer Plummer had moved out of the family home and was living at 77 South Common with his wife Edith Mary (nee Jenner) and her 88 year old grandfather John Jenner.   Fifteen year old Alexander was still in Chailey but not at South Street.  He was working as a page at The Hooke, Chailey.   

Soldiers Died In The Great War notes that Alexander enlisted in Brighton but was resident at Chailey at the time. 

In its April 1916 issue, Chailey Parish Magazine published a list of men who had attested.  Alexander Plummer’s name appears in this list but is also indicated that he was medically unfit.  Regardless, in September 1917 he is listed as Plummer, A 27th Durham LI and then, the following January as Plummer, Pte A, 19th Durham LI. The first designation may be incorrect as his entry on the British War and Victory Medal roll (below) notes 1/7th Durham Light Infantry and 19th Durham Light Infantry. He would have arrived overseas with the 1/7th Battalion, later being posted to the 19th DLI. It is possible however, that whilst in the UK he served with the 2/7th DLI and that this was mis-transcribed in the parish magazine as 27th.
376305 Private Alexander Plummer was killed in action on April 23rd 1918 in France whilst serving with the 19th Durham Light Infantry.  (Chailey Parish Magazine gives his date of death as 22nd April).  He would have been around 32 years old.  He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial in France.  He is also commemorated on Chailey’s village war memorial along with his two brothers Albert and Owen.

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