7164 Private Alfred Garment, 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment
Born 28th November 1886 in Potten End
Killed in Action 9th May 1915 in France
Alfred Garment was born in Potten End, the elder child of Frederick Garment and Elizabeth née Eames. His father was an Agricultural Labourer. Alfred had a younger sister, Bertha, born on 12th September 1888. In the 1891 Census, the family’s address was Potten End Road, Great Gaddesden. However, by 1901 they lived at Peacock Lodge, Nettleden and Alfred’s father was a Gamekeeper on the Ashridge Estate.
In 1901, Alfred was a 14 year old Nursery Gardener living at home with his parents and sister. However, by 1911, he was a Police Constable lodging with James and Mary Jones at 55 Cowper Street, Northampton. His parents, however, still lived at Peacock Lodge. Alfred joined the High Wycombe Borough Police Force in 1913, after which his address was 13, The Barracks, High Wycombe.
Thomas and Priscilla Bannister and their five adult children lived next door to Alfred’s lodgings in Northampton. Their eldest daughter was 25 year old Priscilla, a Fitter in a Boot Factory. In Summer 1913, Alfred and Priscilla married in Northampton.
Military Service 7
Alfred’s Service Number 7164 indicates that he joined the Northamptonshire Regiment in 1903 or early 1904. However, he was discharged from the Army before joining the Police Force. He then remained a member of the Army Reserve.
Alfred was, therefore, recalled to the colours at the outbreak of War. He re-enlisted in London for a very brief period of home training. He then landed at Le Havre with the 1st Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment on 13th August 1914. They fought first at Mons and through the retreat that followed. They were then involved in the Battle of the Marne, the Battle of the Aisne, the First Battle of Ypres and in operations during the winter of 1914-5.
When Alfred re-enlisted, Priscilla was expecting their first child. Their son Alfred Frank Garment was born on 27th November 1914. However, we do not know whether Alfred ever met his son.
Death in France 10
On 9th May 1915, 28 year old Private Alfred Garment was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of Aubers Ridge.
Commemoration in France 10
Alfred is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France, Panel 28 to 30.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission explains:
Individuals are commemorated in this way when their loss has been officially declared by their relevant service but there is no known burial for the individual, or in circumstances where graves cannot be individually marked, or where the grave site has become inaccessible and unmaintainable.
CWCG Casualty Record for Alfred Garment 10
Alfred’s CWGC Grave Registration Report records him as “Husband of Priscilla Garment, of 57, Cowper St., Northampton. A Constable, High Wycombe Police Force, Bucks”.
Alfred Garment is commemorated on the War Memorials on the village green and in St Peter & St Paul’s Church Little Gaddesden. He is also named on the Roll of Honour in the church.
He was posthumously awarded the 1914 Star with Clasp, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal. His next of kin would also have received a memorial plaque and scroll; an example of the scroll and covering letter can be seen in William Mayling’s entry.
Having served in the High Wycombe Police Force, Alfred is also commemorated on the War Memorial at the entrance to High Wycombe Hospital.
5. Information from a Thames Valley Police website article written for the Centenary of the First World War, which is no longer available online: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/police-forces/thames-valley-police/areas/au/about-us/who-we-are/thames-valley-police-museum/world-war-one-centenary/ww1—high-wycombe-borough-police/
12. http://buckinghamshireremembers.org.uk/memorials.htm High Wycombe Hospital
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