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  • Photograph was published on 16th January 1915 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Person Details
Nottingham
Known as 'Alf', Alfred was the youngest son of William and Eliza Armstrong. William died in 1892 aged 50. He was generally employed in low paid employment (hawker, carter), and Eliza seems to have worked most of her married life as a lace hand, continuing in this line of work after she was widowed. William and Eliza had thirteen children of whom only seven were still living at the time of the 1911 census. Eight children were named on the census between 1871 and 1891: James, Sarah Emma, Arthur, Annie, William, Alfred and Lucy. In 1871 William (25) and Eliza (24) were living at 12 Malt Court in the parish of St Mary, Nottingham. Two children were in the house on the night of the census, James (3) and Emma (1). They also had five lodgers, Henry Gell and William and Harriett Warathy and their two young children, Jose (sic) and Harriett. William and Eliza were still living at the same address in 1881; there were now six children at home, James, Sarah, Emma (10), Arthur (8), Annie (6) and William (1). By 1891 William and Eliza had moved to 4 Malt Court and five children were at home the night of the census; Arthur, Annie, William, Alfred (8) and Lucy (6). Alfred's father died the following year in 1892 and in 1901 his mother was living in Old Radford (21 Brassey? Street) with her two youngest children, Alfred and Lucy. In 1908 Alfred married Cecilia Tossland (variations in spelling: Toseland, Toshland) and by 1911 they and their first child, Ethel (2), were living at 7 Ronald Street, Radford. They were to have two more children, Alfred (b. 1911) and Gertrude (b. 1914). They were still living on Ronald Street at the time of Alfred's death in 1914. Alfred's widow married Frederick W Hackett in 1916 (marriage registered Oct/Nov/Dec) and she died in 1957 aged 73.
In 1901 he was a lacehand threader and this was his occupation when he joined the Grenadier Guards two years later. He joined the army on 4 February 1903 probably on a 12 year engagement including time in the Army Reserve. In 1911 he was employed as a railway porter for the Midland Railway (goods yard).
07 Dec 1914
32
597417 - CWGC Website
10729
Lance Corporal
1st Bn Grenadier Guards
He joined the army on 4 February 1903. As a reservist he was mobilized on the outbreak of war he had landed in France on 20th September 1914 as a reinforcement to 2nd Battalion but was serving with 1st Battalion when he was mortally wounded on 7th December 1914. He is buried in the Royal Irish Rifles Graveyard, Laventie (grave ref. I.L.1). His grandson George Lee writes 'My Grandfather enlisted with the Grenadier Guards on a three year short service 1903 to 1906, he then became a reservist... When war was declared on the 4th August 1914 and Grandfather still in reserve, he was mobilized at London on the 5 August, and went over to Belgium with the British Expeditionary Force as Lance Corporal A Armstrong 10729 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. Having been promoted to Corporal in the field he was wounded... we think in Belgium, and unfortunately died of his wounds on 7 December 1914.'
Nottingham Post notice (abridged), 29 December 1914: 'Armstrong. Died of wounds December 7th 1914, Corporal (sic) Alf Armstrong, Grenadier Guards, younger son of William and Eliza Armstrong, in his 32nd year.' Nottingham Post notice (abridged), 16 January 1915: 'Corporal A Armstrong, 1st Grenadier Guars, 7 Ronald Street, died of wounds December 7th.' In memoriam published 7th December 1915 published in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “ARMSTRONG. – In ever-loving memory of my dear husband, Alfred, who died of wounds in France December 7th, 1914. The heavenly stars shine on that distant grave, on the one we loved but could not save. – From wife and children. “ARMSTRONG. – In ever-loving memory of my dear brother Alfred and my dear uncle, who died of wounds in France December 7th, 1914. Sweet are the thoughts that we shall meet again. – From Lucy and niece Eliza. “ARMSTRONG. – In loving memory of Corporal Alfred Armstrong, 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards, who died of wounds received in action December 7th, 1914. Though lost to sight, to memory dear. Respected by all who knew him. – From Brother Jim, Eliza, and May.” Above in memoriam are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. Soldiers' Effects Register: His widow, Cecilia was his sole legatee; he had made a will in her favour.
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  • Photograph was published on 16th January 1915 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    Alfred Armstrong - Photograph was published on 16th January 1915 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918