Captain, Alfred LANGLEY
Aged 34

6th Battalion, Wiltshire ( The Duke of Edinburgh's) Regiment
formerly 19th Royal Hussars
Killed in Action on Thursday,20th September 1917

Alfred Langley was born in Chippenham on 24th March 1883 (Newmarket Q2-1883 3B:596), baptised May 27th in Chippenham. He was the third son of Thomas and Martha LANGLEY (née DRAKE).

1891 census...Aged 8, he was at Queen Square, Chippenham with his father Thomas LANGLEY [37] an agricultural labourer born Chippenham; his mother Martha [36] born London, brothers Frederic [13], Harry [10] Albert [2] and Robert [1 month] and sister Hannah [5]. All the children were born in Chippenham.

1901 census...Aged 18, he was at The Barracks, Canterbury, a private in the 19th Hussars. The family had moved to 9 New Row, Chippenham.

1911 census... Aged 28, he was a sergeant in the 1st Cavalry Brigade, 19th Hussars, Wellington Lines, Aldershot. It has been stated that on the 11th October 1909 riding two different horses, he won first and second prize at the Royal Military Tattoo in a horse riding competition. His parents were still at New Row, Chippenham.

He enlisted in Newmarket. From his medal index card it appears he was commissioned in the field on 4 September 1916.
In June 1917 they took part in the successful attack on Messines Ridge, gaining all their objectives. A period of trench warfare was followed by heavy fighting on the Passchendaele Ridge. On the 20th September they captured and held a position in front of Hollebeke Chateau. Casualties were heavy and the battalion was reinforced by 25 officers and 350 other ranks of the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, who had been dismounted. They became the 6th (Royal Wiltshire) Yeomanry) Battalion.
A summary from the war diary of the battalion says:-
The Battalion formed the right flank in the attack by the 2nd and 5th Armies on the MENIN ROAD on 20th September 1917 . All Officers of Right front Coy were killed on attaining their objectives therefore the only authentic information came from N.C.O's. On the embankment the attack was pushed well forward and a post established beyond the actual objective, this post was held until relief on the night 21/22 although at times heavily shelled. Touch was maintained with the 2nd Bedfords on the right near the canal. To the East of the Embankment Capt Langley led the attacks upon the dugouts S of GRAVES Copse. After he was killed the right section of his party took up positions in shell holes S. of the Copse and dug in at dusk. The left of the party which had reached the side of the CEMETERY found the ground in the immediate front broken and wet and without field of fire , the N.C.O in charge withdrew to the N. side of the Cemetery to obtain a better field of fire..
34 men were killed, only 8 have known graves.

Alfred Langley is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial,Belgium, Panels 19-20

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