ALFRED BAYLEY CHASE
Alfred was born in Liverpool on 11th July 1882 and baptised in St. Saviour’s Church in Everton. His parents, James George Chase (1857 – 1884) and Violet Ross Dunn (born in Aberdeen in about 1856), were living at 171 Granton Road. They had married in the September quarter of 1881 in West Derby. Alfred was an only child and soon became familiar with death – his father died at the age of 27 on 1st May 1884 and his mother’s second husband, William Pughe (born in about 1853) died in 1899, leaving £651 9s to his widow. In 1901, the widowed Violet and her son, Alfred, were running a boarding house at 32 Eaton Road in West Kirby. They had four boarders. Alfred, by this time, was a railway worker. In 1911, they were at the same address and Alfred was now called a railway clerk. On 2nd November 1914, Alfred married Gladys Annie Smith at St. Hildeburgh’s Church in Hoylake. The couple went to live on Valentia Road in Hoylake.
It is not known when Alfred joined the army. The Soldiers Died in the Great War database claims that he started his career in the cavalry, but there is no other reference to this. Unusually for someone from the north-west, he ended up in the 2/9th Battalion of the County of London Regiment, which was also known as the Queen Victoria Rifles and was affiliated to the King’s Royal Rifle Corps.
This unit was part of 175 Brigade in the 58th (2/1st London) Division which sailed to Le Havre on 4th February 1917. Between March and October in that year, it fought on the Hindenburg Line, at Bullecourt, on the Menin Road, Polygon Wood and at Passchendaele (in other words in the Third Battle of Ypres). It is not known what role Alfred played in these engagements, but, by December of that year, he was ill in Endell Street Military Hospital in Middlesex. His body was taken home and he was buried in Holy Trinity Church Yard in Hoylake. He was another victim of the soldier’s greatest adversary after the enemy himself – disease. He bequeathed £101 15s to his widow.
Birth: 11th July 1882, christened 30th July 1882 at St. Saviour’s, Everton
Death: 20th December 1917, aged 35
Addresses: 171 Granton Road, Liverpool (82), 22 Lower Breck Road, West Derby (91), 32 Eaton Road, West Kirby (01-11), Hazlewood, Valentia Road, Hoylake (17)
Occupation: Railway Clerk
Units: Cavalry ?, 2/9th (County of London) Battalion (Queen Victoria Rifles) affiliated to the King’s Royal Rifle Corps
Numbers and Rank: G.S.17929 and R/40539 Rifleman
Medals: Victory and British War
Commemorated and Buried: GH, WK, Hoylake Holy Trinity Church Yard Grave E681
Sources: BR, CWGC, SDGW, MC.DA, WKN, Census: 91, 01, 11