Saturday, November 15, 2014

L8067 Trooper Alfred Bird, 3rd Dragoon Guards

Alfred Bird was born at Heacham, Norfolk, around 1896.  He appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales, living with his family at Heacham.  John Bird, born at Shouldham, Norfolk, was the 40 year old head of the family and working as a labourer at a brickyard.  His wife, 37 year old Mary, had been born at Thornham, Norfolk.  The couple had seven children with them at the time: Harry Bird (aged 15, working as a house boy), Celia Bird (aged 12), Mary (aged 11), John Bird (aged six), Alfred (aged four), Lydia Bird (aged two) and Edward C Bird (aged under one month).  All of the children were born at Heacham. 

Before the war, Alfred moved down from Norfolk to join his brother at Chailey.  He enlisted at Roeheath, Chailey giving his place of residence as King’s Lynn although he was actually working as a footman at Bineham (home to the Blencowe family).  According to Chailey Parish Magazine, he served first with the 17th Lancers and up until October 1915 at least, was stationed with them in England.  By October 1916 however, he was serving with the 3rd Dragoon Guards in France.  His army number – 8067 – is that of the Dragoon Guards. 

Alfred was killed in action on 11th April 1917 at the battle of Arras and is commemorated on bay one of the Arras Memorial.  The East Sussex News reported his death in its issue of Friday 4th May 1917.  The same month, Chailey Parish Magazine added his name to its role of honour.
My thanks to Derek Bird for much interesting correspondence on Alfred and Harry Bird.

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