Alfred was born on 14 May 1898 in Albury, the youngest of seven sons of Mark and Amelia Debnam of Clapgate, Albury, Herts. On the 1901 Census the family were living at Clapgate, Albury, where his father was working as a Bricklayer. The return also shows that two elder brothers were Privates serving in the 2nd Bedfordshire Regiment. The family remained living at Clapgate, Albury, on the 1911 Census where his
father was an Estate Carpenter. Alfred married Marion Elizabeth Coles on 5 August 1917 at St Michael's Church, Millbrook, Beds, and they had a
daughter Eva Marion, born on 12 December 1917.