Alfred John Whiffen

Name

Alfred John Whiffen
4 February 1888

Conflict

First World War

Date of Death / Age

03/07/1916
28

Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Private
G/4754
East Surrey Regiment
8th Bn.

Awards

1914 /15 Star, British War and Victory medals

Cemetery/Memorial

LA NEUVILLE BRITISH CEMETERY, CORBIE
1.A.41
France

Headstone

>BE THOU FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH AND I WILL GIVE THEE A CROWN OF LIFE

UK Memorials

Brent Pelham War Memorial, Not on Bishop's Stortford memorials

Pre War

Alfred John Whiffen was born on 4 February 1888 in Albury, Herts (Bishops Stortford district), the son of Charles Whiffen and Alice (nee Jordan),  and baptised on 22 July 1888 in Furneux-Pelham, Herts.   On the 1891 and 1901 Censuses he was living with his parents at Patmore Heath, Albury. On the 1911 Census, he was living at Beeches Farm, Brent Pelham, Buntingford, Herts and working as a Farm Labourer.

Wartime Service

Alfred served in France from 25 August 1915. The 8th Battalion East Surrey Regiment attacked at the Battle of the Somme at 0730 on 1/7/1916, (two days before Alfred died of his wounds) kicking footballs across No-Mans- Land from Carnoy towards the enemy lines at Montauban. One was apparently labelled ‘The Great European Cup-tie Final – East Surreys v. Bavarians. Kick off zero”, and another “No referee”. Two of these balls survive. A third ball was discovered in a café in Pozieres by a schoolboy visiting the area in 2011. 141 men of the East Surrey Regiment died in the battle of the Somme on 1 July 1916. Of these, 98 of were not recovered from the battlefield and are remembered on the Thiepval Memorial. It would appear from the location of his burial, that Alfred died at no. 21 Casualty Clearing Station, near the cemetery where he is buried,

Additional Information

His mother received a war gratuity of £8 and pay owing of £7 3s 10d. N.B. Surname is sometimes misspelt as Wiffen,

Acknowledgments

Brenda Palmer
Dr Stephen Bratt, Jonty Wild