A. E. Nunn
Service no. 63634
Private, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), “A” Coy. 7th Battalion
Died on 10 May 1918, aged 19
CWGC: “Son of Alfred and Emily C. Nunn, of 108 Manor Street, Clapham, London.”
Remembered at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France
Chris Burge writes:
Alfred Edward Nunn was born in 1899 and baptised at St Andrew’s, Stockwell Green on 21 May 1899, the first child of Alfred and Emily Clara Nunn who lived at 7 Landor Road. Alfred’s father worked as a laundry manager and his mother as a laundress.
The 1901 census shows that they shared their home with a daughter from Alfred’s first marriage (he was widowed). Alfred Snr was now working on the trams. A second son, George William Nunn, was born on 4 February 1903 and baptised at St Andrew’s on 22 February 1903.
In the 1911 census, the Nunn family now lived in five rooms at 38 Landor Street, close to the Avondale music and dance hall, and the Landor Hotel Public House. Alfred Snr, aged 49, worked for the London County Council tramways as a motorman. Alfred Jnr and George were at school. The property was shared by an elderly widow and her daughter living in two other rooms and a family of three in another two rooms.
Alfred was 15 at the outbreak of war, but conscription was introduced in 1916 and Alfred was called up early in 1917. The Surrey Recruitment Registers, a rare survival of its type, record Alfred’s details. After reporting at Wandsworth, Alfred was directed to be at Kingston by 30 March where he was assigned the service number 45901 and instructed to join the 23rd Training Reserve Battalion for basic training. Alfred was 18 years and 2 months, 5ft 7in tall, 108 lbs and had a chest size of 34in. His address was 108 Manor Street, Clapham.
Training complete, Alfred was posted to the 7th Battalion of the Royal West Surrey Regiment. No records exist to say exactly when Alfred was sent to France. Spring 1918 was a time of crisis on the Western Front when the enemy threatened to break through, the 7th RWS were in the forward zone to the east of Amiens. March and April were a time of retreat and counter-attack. An assault on Hangard Wood on 26 April resulted in further casualties, a total of five officers and 141 other ranks. The first week of May was quiet as the 7th RWS worked hard to improve trenches, build shelters and erect barbed wire. The records note on the 4th May 1918, ‘2 O.R. wounded by shell whilst on way to join Battn, in the line’.
Alfred Edwin Nunn was among the wounded and later died of his wounds on 10 May 1918 in one of Rouen’s many hospitals.
Alfred Snr and Emily lived in Manor Street, Clapham until Alfred’s death in 1929 at the age of 67. Emily was living in Epping, Essex when she passed away in 1943, aged 75. Alfred’s brother George William died in 1979, aged 76.