Private Alfred Edward Everest

Date of Birth c. 1892
Age at Death 24
Date of Death 1 July 1916
Service Number 4493
Military Service 8th Battalion East Surrey Regiment
Merton Address 85 Sydney Road, Raynes Park
Local Memorial St. Saviour’s Church, Raynes Park

Additional Information

Born in the Cobham area c. May 1892, Alfred was the son of Journeyman brick maker Cecil Everest and his wife, Elizabeth. The couple also had five other children – Emily, Cecil, Fanny, Albert and Henry.

In 1901 the family was living at Randall’s Farm, Cobham. However by 1911, they had moved to a five room property at 85 Sydney Road, Raynes Park. Alfred and several of his siblings were now of working age. His sister, Emily, had left home; Cecil jnr was working as a Trolleyman (presumably some sort of haulage worker) for a coal merchant and Alfred was working as a Wireman for the GPO telephone company. His younger brother, Albert, was also working as an errand boy for a greengrocer. The younger children were still of school age.

On 21 August 1911, Alfred married laundress, Helen Barge, at All Saints Church, Wimbledon. His bride was the daughter of a scaffolder from 58 Deburgh Road, Wimbledon (possibly a colleague of Alfred’s father.)

Soon after the start of the war, Alfred enlisted in the army. In October 1914, aged 22, he became a Private in the 8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment. Formed at Kingston upon Thames in September 1914, the battalion underwent home –based training at Purfleet, Colchester and Salisbury Plain, before embarking for France in July 1915.

Alfred and his comrades would have fought at the Battle of Loos (25 September – 14 October.) This was the largest British offensive of 1915 and involved a combined British and French assault on German defences in Artois and Champagne. The battle notoriously involved the first British use of poison gas as a weapon of war. Unfortunately the changing wind direction meant that much of the chlorine vapour actually drifted back over British lines, with disastrous effect.

In 1916, the battalion was one of the first regiments to go over the top at the Battle of the Somme (1 July – 18 November, 1916.) B Company, 8th Surreys gained immortality, when they had dribbled four footballs across No Man’s Land during the attack on Montauban. 446 men were killed, wounded or taken prisoner on that day; the battalion won two DSOs, two MCs, two DCMs and nine Military medals (MMs). Alfred was one of the casualties. He is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial and his name also appears on the war memorial at St. Saviour’s Church, Raynes Park.

Alfred’s widow, Helen ( Ellen) was married for the second time in 1919 to a man called Frank Goldsmith.


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