Cann War Memorial

Ernest John Alford

Surname: Alford
Other names: Ernest John
Other people in this story:
James Alford
Hannah Alford née Pyke
William Alford
Percy Thomas Alford
Locations in this story:
France & Flanders
Pozieres, Somme, France
Foxhill, Wanboro, Wiltshire
Plymouth, Devon
St. Rumbold's Church, Cann
Somme, France

Ernest John Alford was born on 9th December 1882 and baptised at St. Rumbold's Church, Cann on 9th January 1883. He was the son of James Alford, a farmer, and Hannah Alford (née Pyke). In 1891 the family were living at 5 Butts Knapp, Cann. They were still living there in 1901 and Ernest was employed as a general labourer working on a farm. By 1911 the family had moved to Boyne Cottage, Cann, Shaftesbury, but Ernest had left the family home. When he enlisted at the Citadel, Plymouth as a Gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery (Service No. 73193) he indicated his address as Foxhill, Wanboro, Wiltshire employed as a Gardener and still single. He was posted to the 250th Siege Battery on 7th October 1916 transferring later to the 122nd Siege Battery on 30th July 1917. He served in France and family records show that he was wounded there on 14th June 1917, but recovered to resume his duties. The official record states that he 'died on or since 21st March 1918' on the Somme. At the time of his death his parents were living at The Tollhouse, Cann, Shaftesbury. He was awarded the Victory and British War medals and is commemorated on The Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France (Panel 10). He is remembered on the Cann War Memorial, Shaftesbury.

His siblings included William (b.1890) who sadly died while serving in France in 1918 and Percy Thomas (b.1887) who died in 1925 as the result of contracting tuberculosis while in the army.

Printed sources:
"The Alford Family of Cann, Shaftesbury, Dorset", Gold Hill Museum Archives.

  • Names on Cann War Memorial
  • Unveiling of Cann War Memorial

Links to related web content / sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The National Archives
William Alford
Percy Thomas Alford