Private Alfred Lawrence Beadle

Date of Birth c. 1890
Age at Death 24
Date of Death 24 May 1915
Service Number 6928
Military Service 2nd Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Merton Address 5 Douglas Cottages, Love Lane, Mitcham
Local Memorial Mitcham War Memorial

Additional Information

Alfred was born in Mitcham in 1890. His father Alfred Snr was also born in Mitcham and had his own business working as a Carman. A Carman was essentially a delivery driver, most probably using a horse drawn cart. Alfred’s mother Caroline was employed as a laundress. In 1901 the family were living at 7 Tooting Grove, which was part of Mitcham. Alfred was aged 10, and now had a younger sister Rose aged 4 and a brother William aged 3.

By 1911 the family had moved to a three roomed dwelling at 27 Maybury Street, Tooting. Alfred’s father had now retired, and the family had grown to include another sister Lily, aged 8. Rose was employed as a General Domestic, while William was still at school. Space in the household would have been at a premium, as Alfred had now married, and was still living at the house with his wife Beatrice and baby Florence aged just 1 month. Alfred was employed as a Carman, like his father before him. A year later in July 1912 the couple had a new son, also named Alfred Lawrence.

Alfred enlisted at Kingston upon Thames on 6 January 1915, with the 2nd Battalion, East Surrey Regiment. The Regimental Roll and Recruitment Register for 1915 shows that Alfred was 5ft and 6 inches tall and weighed in at 161 lbs. It also gave an incorrect age of 26, as he would have been 24 at that time. His occupation was recorded as a painter, and his address was given as Love Lane, Mitcham.

Soon after, on 19 January 1915, his battalion joined the 85th Brigade, and mobilised for war, landing at Le Havre, France. The battalion fought in the Second Battle of Ypres (22 April – 25 May 1915). This battle saw the first use by the German army of poison gas on the Western Front. On 24th May, during the Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge, the 2nd Battalion suffered a widespread gas and infantry attack. The Battalion’s War Diary states that 5 men were killed, 159 men were missing and that 24 men were suffering from gas poisoning. Alfred was most probably one of the missing as he has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium, and locally on the Mitcham War Memorial.

Alfred’s daughter Florence married Gordon Tyler in 1931, and records show that her mother Beatrice was living with them at the same address.


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