No.219, Private, Alfred BARRETT
Aged 40

18th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment
Killed in Action on Monday, 10th January 1916

Alfred Barrett was born in Castle Camps on 14th February 1875 (Linton Q1-1875 3B:506), baptised in Castle Camps Congregational Church on 11th June 1875, son of Rosetta BARRETT.
His mother married John MIDDLEDITCH (Linton Q1-1877). The baptismal record shows him as Alfred BARRETT MIDDLEDITCH, John Middleditch the reputed father.
He seems to be Barrett-Middleditch for most purposes, but born, married and enlisted as just Alfred BARRETT

1881 census...Aged 6, as Alfred Middleditch, he was at Church Lane, Castle Camps with his father John MIDDLEDITCH [27] shoe maker born Helions Bumpstead; his mother Rose [23]; sister Lydia [4] both born Castle Camps, brother Samuel [1] born Helions Bumpstead and William Barrett [16] farm labourer born Castle Camps (his uncle ?).

1891 census...Aged 16, Alfred Middleditch, a farm labourer, he was at Haverhill Road, Castle Camps with his parents; sisters Lydia [14], Mary [8], Annie [5], Emily [1] and Kate [3 months] all the girls born in Castle Camps); brothers Samuel [11] born Helions Bumpstead and William [3] born Castle Camps.

1901 census...He has not been found in this census. His parents were in Castle Camps with his brothers Samuel (farm labourer), William (herd boy) and Joseph [5] born Castle Camps; sisters Annie, Emily, Kate and Martha [7] born Castle Camps.

His father apparently died in 1901 (LUTON Q3) {possibly a transcription error} and was buried in All Saints Churchyard, Castle Camps 19th July 1901

He married Annie Elizabeth TUFFREY in Fenny Stratford on 11th April 1903 (living at 28 Brook Street, Tottenham)

1911 census...Aged 36, a labourer, he was at 28 Brook Street, Tottenham with his wife Annie [27] born Stone, Oxford; sons Alfred [14/7/1903] and Arthur Joseph [1/4/1905]; daughters Florence Rose [19/8/1907] and Annie Lilian [23/11/1909]. The children all born in Tottenham. His widowed mother was at Castle Camps with his sister Kate and brother Joseph (Butcher's boy)

His youngest brother Joseph was killed serving in France in the Suffolk Regiment in 1916 see here

He enlisted in Mill Hill, Middlesex on 2nd March 1915, giving his address as 26 Brook Street, Tottenham, married labourer aged 40 years 2 months. There is recorded details of his marriage and children (Kathleen May 10th October 1912 an addition to those above). Born Castle Camps, he was 5 feet 5 inches ( 165.1 cm)tall, weighed 146 lbs (64.6 kg), chest 34.5" to 38" (87.6 to 96.5).
He went to 18th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment ( a Pioneer Battalion)in France/Flanders on 12th November 1915. Wounded in the head, leg and hand by shrapnel on 2nd January 1916 he was taken to No 17 Field Ambulance and then to No 33 Casualty Clearing Station, Bethune, where he died on 10th January.

His widow was granted a weekly pension of 22 shilling 6 pence (£1.13) for herself and four children. Daughter Kate had died of pneumonia on April 20th 1915. The registrar was chasing payment of 2 shilling 1 penny £0.10) for providing a copy of Kate's death certificate.

The war diary has:-
Le Preol - 2 Jan - C Company having been placed at the disposal of OC No.222 Field Coy, R.E.,for work on 3rd line trenches commenced this work. Remaining companies continued work as on previous day. Enemy exploded a mine at 11:30 am followed by shelling and Casualties 2nd Lieut Whitaker and three men wounded.

Le Preol is on the south bank of the canal, halfway between Bethune and Cuinchy.

photo: Rodney Gibson

photo: Rodney Gibson

Alfred Barrett-Middleditch is buried in Bethune Town Cemetery, grave 4:H:10

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

BACK to Castle Camps home page