No.L/6706, Private, Alfred JAY
1st Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)
Alfred Jay was born in Boyton End, Stoke by Clare on 17th June 1877 (Risbridge Q3-1877 4A:466), baptised in St John the Baptist, Stoke by Clare on 2nd September 1877,
son of George and Emily JAY (née COOTE). |
1881 census...Aged 3, he was at Boyton End Hamlet, nr Stoke by Clare with his father George JAY  farm labourer; his mother Emily  born Hempstead; brothers Joseph , Harry  and William , all farm labourers and Charles ; sisters Jane  and Elizabeth . All except his mother were born in Stoke by Clare.
1891 census...Aged 13, a farm servant, he was still in Boyton End with his widowed mother. His father had died in 1889.
1901 census...Aged 23, he was a plate layer on the railway, boarding with the SMITH family at 2 Elswick Road, Lewisham..
His mother died in 1902.
1911 census...Aged 34, a carman, he was at 69 Floyd Road, Charlton with his sister Elizabeth and her husband Joseph BUXTON [ crane driver born Sleaford, Lincs., and their son Sidney Joseph BUXTON  born Walthamstow.
He married Ada Marie BEVEN (b.2-2-1890)(Woolwich Q4-1912). On the "Living Relatives" Army form his widow completed in 1919 she gave the family as her son John BEVEN, their daughter Ruby J.L.JAY, living at 110 Folkestone Gardens, Deptford, his brothers James  and William  at 142 Maryland Road, Stratford, Joseph  at 14 Alma Road, Stratford and Harry  at 15 The Street, Stoke by Clare, and his sisters Jane BULL and Elizabeth BUXTON.
According to the pension card his widow was at 110 Folkestone Gardens with a son, Walter John Higginson (BEVEN) (b.25-6-1908) and daughter Ruby Jane Elizabeth (b.14.4.1913)
He enlisted in New Cross on 7th October 1901 in The Buffs, the East Kent Regiment. He gave his age as 24 years 3 months, a platelayer on the South Eastern and Chatham Railway. Born Stoke,
Suffolk. He was 5 feet 4 inches (162.6 cm)tall, weighed 135 lbs (61.2 kg), chest 35" to 36.5" (88.9 to 92.7 cm), blue eyes, brown hair, Church of England. He signed to 7 years in the colours, 5 on
Completing his basic training he was posted to India with the 1st Battalion, The Buffs until 13th Oct 1903 when he was posted to Aden, where he remained until 8th December 1904. He had extended his service to 8 years plus 4 on Reserve on 24th May 1904. Ending his 8 years in the colours on 22nd April 1904 he finished his 12 years total service on 7th October 1913.
On the outbreak of war he was quickly back in the Army in Canterbury and in France/Flanders with the BEF on 7th September 1914, which service saw him awarded the 1914 Star with clasp for coming under fire before 23rd November.
Killed in action in Belgium on 29th July 1918, his personal belongings sent to his widow consisted of a metal disc, tobacco pouch, 2 pipes, matchbox holder, dairy in a case, some cards, a wallet and photos.
The 1st Battalion, The Buffs had just received an attachment of Americans and had relieved the King's Shropshire Light Infantry in the trenches around Nepal, Opium, Melon and Indus farms in the area of the Vivehoek Switch near Dikkebusch. On the 29th they had 3 killed and 4 wounded according to the war diary
They lost 64 men
He is remembered on the memorials at the church of St James, Hatcham and the Mazawattee Tea Company in Deptford.
click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details