Alfred James Chandler (15321 Pte.)
Alfred was the middle son of William James and Ellen Hannah born in Carlisle, Cumberland in 1884. He was one of seven children and lived in Carlisle all his life before enlisting in the Lonsdale Battalion.
Alfred James Chandler was born between July-September 1884, son of William James Chandler and Ellen Hannah Chandler (nee Lawson), and lived at 8 Melbourne Road, Carlisle with his six siblings: Margaret Ann (1881), William John (1882), Joseph James (1888), Annie Lawson (1891-1893), Albert and Lily (twins 1897).
They moved to 21 Melbourne Road, which was a larger house sometime after 1911. This was the known address where Alfred had lived at the time he was killed in action in 1916.
Alfred’s father, William James (1856-1936) was born in Carlisle and worked as a Post Office Telegraphist. It is possible he received the notification of Alfred’s death. He married Ellen Hannah Lawson (1858-1930) in 1880, who was a Carlisle girl, and they set up home at 25 Collingwood Street, Carlisle. Little did they know that they both would outlive Alfred.
A descendant of Alfred grew up very close to her grandmother, Alfred’s youngest sister Lily. She remembers the bronze memorial plaque, also known as the death penny, that was issued to the next of kin of all who were killed during the First World War. Unfortunately, the memorial plaque is no longer in the family. However, in possession is a photo of Alfred, the reverse of which is written in the hand of Alfred's mother, Ellen Hannah, the following words:
- “I mourn for you my dear Son, but not in outward show, for the heart that mourns sincerely mourns silently and low.”
Alfred was a young man of 19 years when on 17 September 1914 he enlisted into B Company of his local battalion, the 11th (service) Border Regiment (Lonsdale). This was a ‘Pals’ Battalion and he spent the next year training at Blackhall Racecourse in Carlisle. The Lonsdale Battalion war diary states on 1 July 1916 at 8am the Battalion advanced from assembly trenches, the Lonsdale's route taking them through Authuille Wood along the track moving towards Theipval.