A. E. Purslow
Service no. 170
Corporal, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), 7th Battalion
Born at Stonehouse, Devon; enlisted at Kingston Upon Thames; lived in Brighton
Died on 18 November 1916, aged 21
Remembered at Stump Road Cemetery, Grandcourt, France and on the war shrine at St Michael’s Church, Stockwell Park Road, London SW9 0DA
Brother of William Charles Purslow
Information from the 1911 census
William Purslow, 21, and Albert Purslow, 15, were shop assistants, William for a hosier and Albert for an oilman. The household lived in four rooms at 15 Burnley Road, Stockwell. Charles Purslow, 50, from Lydford in Devon, was a music-hall musician; Alice Purslow, 46, was from Plymouth. They had four children, three of them living at home:
William Purslow, 21, born in Plymouth
Albert Purslow, 16, born in Stonehouse, Devon
George Purslow, 7, born in Fulham
Ray Gloster writes:
Albert Edward Purslow married Emma Caroline Ann Shed at Wandsworth in 1915. They had a daughter Phyllis Jeanette Elinor Purslow, who was born on 10 November 1916, just eight days before Albert was killed in action on the Somme at the battle of the Ancre.
He enlisted at Kingston upon Thames, which according to his pension records he did so before the war, at the age of 18. It is likely that he was transferred to the 7th Battalion as a Non Commissioned Officer after it was formed in September 1914.
In 1916 Emma was living in Brighton, Sussex in 1916, and she stayed in Sussex until her death at Eastbourne in 1981. She did not remarry but brought up her daughter alone, and then her two grandsons. Phyllis died in Hailsham on 1 November 2008.
Albert was a 4th generation professional soldier. His father Charles, although working as a music-hall musician in 1911, had served for 15 years in the Royal Marine Light Infantry at Plymouth, until 1899, 13 years as a musician, having previously served for almost six years in the 1st Battalion 53rd Shropshire Regiment of Foot at Plymouth, the same regiment as his father William and also his grandfather William, who was from Shrewsbury, Shropshire but continued to live in Plymouth in retirement.
In 1908, Albert’s sister Ethel married a musician, Alfred George Manning, one of four brothers who had served in the Royal Marines Light Infantry band (a fifth brother was also a musician, whilst the sixth was a baker). In 1913 she emigrated to Canada with her husband and son George (b. 1909), their second son Alfred was born soon after arriving in Canada. The family settled in the United States a few years later.