1885 - 1916
CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916
Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916
Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Pte 29720 Alexander Scott Alleyne
- Age: 29
- From: Liverpool
- Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 19th Btn
- K.I.A Tuesday 11th July 1916
- Commemorated at: Thiepval Memorial
Panel Ref: P&F1D8B &8 C.
29720 Private Alexander Scott ALLEYNE, 19th Battn KLR – KIA 11.07.1916.
Alexander Alleyne was born on 9th May 1887, the second youngest child of Richard Edward Alleyne, a master mariner, and his wife Mary (nee Moffatt), who had married in 1877 and lived at 172 Bedford Street South.
The 1891 Census shows Mary living at 46 Canning Street with her 5 children and she employs a servant. There is no reference to her husband who was most probably away at sea. The CWGC records Alexander as the son of the late Captain Richard Alleyne and Mary. This rank relates to his position as a ship’s captain.
In 1893, Alexander’s mother died and with her husband presumably away at sea it was no doubt left to his older sisters to raise him.
This might explain the fact that in 1901 Alexander Alleyne, 13 years old and born in Toxteth, is an inmate in the Liverpool Farm School, later to become Red Bank Approved School, in Newton in Makerfield. The family had by now split up, with Margaret and Mabel, the two eldest sisters, boarding at 188 Upper Warwick Street; Jessie, their younger sister living in Canada; and the youngest child, Harold, living with his paternal grandmother at 19 Vine Street.
By 1911, Margaret and Mabel are living at 36 Portman Road, Liverpool; Alexander is serving with the 2nd Battalion, Royal North Lancashire Regiment, in India; Jessie is still in Canada; and Harold is living with and employed by his paternal uncle in Tedbury, Herefordshire in his uncle’s business as a manufacturer of mineral water. Their father is not shown on the Census but might well have been in The Mariners Home, Egremont, where he died the following year.
Aexander had until now enjoyed a rather chequered military career! He first enlisted as a 15 year old boy musician in 1903 with the South Lancashire (Prince of Wales) Regiment with the number 6904, but on 18th October 1904 was discharged “services no longer required”. On 12th February 1906 at Liverpool he enlisted as Private 8515 with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, aged 18 years 9 months and giving his occupation as seaman. He stated that he had not previously served in the armed forces and was posted to the 2nd Battalion. On 11th December 1908 he was appointed bombardier but 11 months later reverted to the ranks for “misconduct”. He served in Mauritius, India and the East Indies but his record is full of entries for offences, mostly drink related, and this led to his recall to the UK having served only 7 years of his 9 years engagement and being stripped of his medals because of his misconduct. He had been a member of the regimental band as a clarinettist for 5 years. On 8th January 1913 he was discharged to the Reserve but on 5th August 1914 was mobilised at Preston. His Pension record then shows that he was discharged for misconduct whilst on active service and alongside is the date 10th October 1914. If this date is correct, it would appear that having been discharged he immediately enlisted with the Pals 19th Battalion for on 7th November 1915 he made his way to France with them!
The 1st July 1916, the British Army’s blackest day, the 19th Battalion was held in reserve to be used in the event of a German counterattack and otherwise to be used as a carrying battalion for the Brigade during the attack at Montauban. On 8th July an offensive was launched against the German fortified positions in Trones Wood and on 11th all four of the Pals Battalions were to take part in an attempt to take the wood. It was during the heavy fighting which ensued that Alexander Alleyne was killed. His body was never identified and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.
Everard Wyrall, in his book “The History of the King’s Regiment (Liverpool)” describes the horrors of the battle for Trones Wood:
“The remembrance of Trones Wood in July 1916 who passed through it is of a noisome, horrible place, of a tangled mass of trees and undergrowth which had been tossed and flung about in frightful confusion by the shells of both sides. Of the ghastly dead which lay about in all directions, and of DEATH, lurking in every hole and corner with greedy hands ready to snatch the lives of the unwary. The place was a Death trap, and although the attacks were made with great determination, the presence of snipers who could not be detected and often fired into the backs of our men made the clearing of the wood impossible”.
Following the death of his parents, Alexander named his younger brother, Harold, as his next of kin giving his address as 47 Sandhead Street (off Webster Road) and his arrears of pay and gratuity were paid out to his sisters Margaret and Mabel in February 1917 with the residue being received by Harold in April of that year, when Harold is said to be 44125 A/Sgt. with 1st Battalion Machine Gun Corps. Harold married in 1914 and survived the war.