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Betts Alfred Lance Corporal KIA 31/10/1915

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    Posted: 13 Jul 2012 at 12:49

BETTS, Alfred Herbert Lance Corporal 10855 1st Bn Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Born: Harwich, Essex Enlisted: Harwich, Essex.

Age: 23 Date of Death: 31/10/1915 Cause: Killed in action.

Family Notes: Second son of Frederick and Jane Emma Betts, of 2, Eastgate St., Harwich, Essex.

Trade/profession: Regular Soldier (1911 English Census).


Suvla. Work was continued on sap, now fit to be called a fire trench and a communication trench started to connect with same. Some more wiring was done, both trestle and French, and old wiring adjusted. Battalion HQ, washhouse and shelters all improved. Each company was issued with sterilised earth boxes for cleaning canteens. As MO thought that cleaning of canteens, etc, as by surface earth was a cause of dysentery to a great extent. Sniping by enemy much less severe. The enemy shelled our lines between 10.30 and 11.45 am and 2 men were wounded. A few broomsticks and trench mortar bombs also fired by enemy were ineffective. Casualties: killed 1 man, 10855 A/Cpl. H. Betts, wounded 1 man 10869 Private C. May in Y Coy: hospital 4, rejoined 1.   

                             Extract from War Diary of 1st Bn. Royal Dublin Fusiliers (dated 1/11/15).


Other Family Losses: His brother, 10539, Sgt. Frederick Rodney Betts, 2nd Bn. Royal Dublin Fusiliers was killed in action on, 27/08/1914 and is interred in grave I. C. 15, Honnechy British Cemetery (located near Le Cateau) Nord, France.

Other notes: Lance Corporal Betts’s Medal Index Card shows him as entering the Gallipoli Theatre of Operations on 25/4/1915. The Irish Times published a list of wounded on 29/7/1915 in which Alfred was listed as being wounded at Gallipoli.

Census notes: The 1911 English Census shows Alfred (aged 20) serving as a Lance Corporal with 2nd Bn. Royal Dublin Fusiliers at, Tournay Barracks, Marlborough Lines Church, East Square, Marlborough Lines, Aldershot, Hampshire. The 1911 English Census shows Alfred’s parents, Frederick (Trinity Pensioner, aged 51) and Jane Emma (aged 38) residing at, No. 2, Eastgate Street, Harwich, Essex, also present were their children, Jane Emma Alexander (aged 16), Rose Phyllis Maude (aged 15), Walter Peter (named as William P. on the 1901 Census, aged 13), Olive Anne (aged 10) and  May Grace Constance (aged 7); his parents stated that during their marriage they had eight children, seven of whom were alive at the time of the Census. The 1901 English Census shows the Betts family (residing at, No. 4, Castlegate Street, Harwich) as follows; Jane E. Betts (Married, aged 29) and her children, Frederick R. (aged 10),  Alfred H. (aged 8), William P. (Should read Walter, aged 3), Jane E. A. (aged 6),  Rose P. M. (aged 5) and  Olive A. (aged 5 Months). N.B. Alfred had one brother and sister, not listed on the 1901 and 1911 Census; Gladys Alice, born in 1905 and died aged 4 months and Charles Betts born in 1912.

Special notes: In one of those strange ironies that occur during war, Private Betts’s brother was killed on the same day as 2nd Lt. John Gunning Moore Dunlop (also 2nd Bn Royal Dublin Fusiliers) a brother of Captain George Malcolm Dunlop, 1st Bn Royal Dublin Fusiliers who died at V Beach on 25/4/1915.

Grave/Memorial: II. F. 24. Azmak Cemetery, Suvla.

IWM Records Page No: Volume I, Page 145.

Edited by Mal Murray - 08 May 2015 at 13:58
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