Private 25115 Alfred Blower

Killed in Action on Monday, 17th July 1916, age 35.
Commemorated on Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A of Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

15th Bn., Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt.). 105th Brigade of 35th Division.

Husband of Alice Maria Morris (formerly Blower), of 26, Tudor St., Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and Park Chapel memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/766288/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
10 Dunns Place, Tipton, Staffs.
John Jewkes (72, Stepfather, born Tipton) and Maria Jewkes (61, Mother, born Tipton), Alfred Blower (19, Labourer at Ironworks, born Tipton).
John Jewkes and Maria Blower had married September qtr 1885.

Marriage of Alfred Blower and Alice Maria Whitehouse registered in September quarter 1902 at Dudley. By 1916, they had 5 children.

1911 Census - used his step-father's surname.
26 Tudor Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Alfred Jewkes (28, Boatman, born Tipton), his wife Alice (28, born Tipton), and their 4 surviving children of 5: Dora (6, School, born Tipton), John (4, born Tipton), Albert (2, born Tipton), and Florrie (4 months, born Tipton).

Personal Data

None Available.

Action resulting in his death

The 15th Sherwood Foresters was initially a Bantam Battalion for men less than the 5' 3'' required for other infantry Battalions. By the end of 1916 the quality of Bantam replacements became sub-standard; in common with the other Bantam Battalions, replacements from then on were average conscripts. As Alfred Blower died in 1916, it can be assumed that he was a Bantam by height.

On the night of the 16th/17th July they moved up to the front line trenches south east of Trones Wood, relieving the 6th Northants. This was in preparation for an attack on Maltz Horn Farm and Arrow Head Copse on 20th July.

"The Blast of War" by Maurice Bacon and David Langley contains a description of this journey to the trenches by Pte James Taylor:-
"When going into the trenches I saw one of the dead British soldiers leaning over the parapet, and on his soldiers were the badges of his regiment, the 'Buffs'. It was a rough journey. The smell was awful, and every now and then we trod on a dead 'Buff'."

Alfred Blower was killed in action on 17th July, either during this relief, or during the next day whilst in the front line. He has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 26 August 1916
Pte. Alfred Blower, late of 26 Tudor Street, Coneygre, Dudley Port, was killed in France during the great advance on July 17th. He was 36 years of age and leaves a wife and 5 small children to mourn his loss. A brother-in-law of the deceased soldier is serving in Egypt, while another brother-in-law is a German prisoner; a nephew had also recently joined the colours. The deceased soldier was in April wounded in action and went into hospital. He had only been back in the trenches two days before he was killed. Prior to joining the Army the late Private Blower worked for Mr Geo. Ellement as a boat loader. He is spoken of as a man of excellent character, and was a good father and husband.