George Albert Alford
From Our Contribution
Family tree on Ancestry.com
|Date of Birth||Not known|
|Place of Birth||Sydney, New South Wales|
|Age at Enlistment||23 years, 8 months|
5'5" (1.65m) tall ; 135 lbs|
61.235 kg; fresh complexion ; grey eyes ; brown hair
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||Jarrahdale, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Wife , Mrs Mary Catherine Alford|
|Date of Enlistment||10 Nov 1916|
|Unit/Formation||48th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement to 2 Platoon, A Company / 12th Brigade, 4th Division|
|Date of Embarkation||23 Dec 1916 ‒ 16 Feb 1917|
|Ship Embarked On||HMAT A35 Berrima|
Jarrahdale Honour Roll |
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
|Medals||Not eligible for any Medals|
Married Mary C Nelson in 1914.
Entered Blackboy HIll camp on 10 Nov 1916 and was initially allocated to the 7th reinforcement draft for the 44th Battalion, but later changed to the 8th draft for the 48th Battalion, travelling with them to England.
In England was sent to the 12th Training Battalion at Codford for three weeks before moving to the Sutton Manderville camp where he spent a little over three months.
On 19 Jun 1917 he proceeded to France via Southampton, and on 9 Jul 1917 he was taken on strength by the 48th Battalion. On 3 Nov 1917 he faced a Field General Court Martial, charged with Deserting HM Services while on Active Duty on 10 Oct 1917. Found Not Guilty of Desertion, but Guilty of being AWOL, and sentenced to 90 days Field Punishment. Sentence subsequently confirmed by Major General Robertson. With 10 days awaiting trial and the punishment, he forfeits 114 days active service (pay).
On 8 Dec 1917 he went to hospital sick, and remained in medical care until he rejoined the battalion on 4 Mar 1918.
On 23 May 1918 a Court of Enquiry declared that Pte Alford had illegally absented himself from the 48th Battalion on 3 Apr 1918, and that he was still absent. With nothing further heard of him, the AIF discharged him on 1 Apr 1920.
In Aug 1918 a sister in Armadale (Mrs A Turner) wrote to the Army seeking any information about him as she has heard nothing, and that their other brother had been Killed in Action.
As any allowance being remitted to his wife stopped with his illegal absence, she would have faced difficulty supporting herself and their two children and in June 1919 wrote to the Army seeking news of her husband and what funds she might have access to.
Alford's father wrote to the authorities claiming that one of George's friends had written to them advising that George had broken down under pressure but was no more than a few miles behind the lines carrying out menial tasks.
Another letter from him in December 1921 contained information from a returned soldier that George had been Killed in Action on the morning of 4th April 1918 near Villers-Bretonneux the day after he allegedly had gone missing. The claim was that he and three others had been obliterated by a shell.
Another effort on file is a letter to the Minister for Defence in June 1919, which like all others draws the response that his son is a deserter.
Letters from family members seeking information continue until at least 1925.
The West Australian on 12 March 1917 has an In Memorium submitted by Mary for her grandfather that mentions a son Eric George born in 1915. Eric George Alford described as son of Mrs Bolt of Wagin, is a Sgt in the 2nd AIF who is engaged to Annie Mavis Hildebrandt of Victoria Park. Mary had remarried in 1922 to Herbert B Bolt in Katanning.