Alfred was born in Lewes at the end of 1893, the son of Alfred and Mary Ann Manville, nee Stanbridge. Some records give their surname as Manvill. Alfred snr. was listed in 1901 as a bricklayer’s labourer and in 1911 as a gas worker’s labourer. Alfred jnr. was the third child of eight born to the couple.
In 1901 they were living at 3 Davies Lane, South Malling and by 1911 had moved to 22 Spring Gardens. Alfred jnr. was listed on this census as a general labourer and it is known that he worked for Mooreys in the High Street. Alfred married Maud A Stubberfield in late 1914 in Brighton and they moved to Circus Street. A son Alfred Stephen was born on 13/01/1916 in Brighton but he died just two years later. A daughter Maud Rose Lilian was born in 1917.
Alfred enlisted in the 9th Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment and was numbered G/5766. His army papers are no longer available to view but from other sources we can piece together much of his service.
The battalion was raised in Chichester in late 1914 and all original recruits had the suffix ‘G’ as part of their army number. The number, 5766, suggests an enlistment in May 1915.
The 9th Battalion took part in recruitment parades across the county while they were still training and the picture shows the battalion in Brighton.
It would seem likely that Albert may have joined as a result of one of the recruitment parades. He would have been sent to Shoreham and then transferred to Woking in June 1915 for final training before being mobilised.
The battalion landed in Boulogne on 31/08/1915 and formed part of the 73rd Brigade of the 24th Division. The Royal Sussex Regiment was almost immediately involved in the Battle of Loos. Casualties were high as many of the men had only just arrived in France and were not used to trench warfare.
From here they marched south towards the River Somme. They suffered gas attacks in April and June 1916 and then came the battle around Delville Wood and Guillemot.
Alfred was killed in the Guillemot area on 20/08/1916 but has no known grave.
He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial on pier and face 7C. He is also remembered on the St John sub Castro Memorial and the Lewes War Memorial. He was entitled to the War and Victory medals and these, along with his effects, were sent to Maud.