2nd Border Regiment, 25 October 1914
Synopsis of Life and Military Service
Alexander Francis Alcock was born circa 1889 at Dublin, Ireland, he was the son of Thomas Alcock and his second wife Agnes, his father had been a soldier who had been posted to Ireland where his wife Agnes was also born so it is likely that that is where they met. The children of Thomas and Agnes, including Alexander were born in Ireland.
Very little is known of the life of Alexander as his Military Records no longer exist, however, it is known that he enlisted into the army on 3rd November 1902 at Birr, County Offaly, Ireland as a full-time soldier. In 1911, he is shown on the National Census as living within military barracks in Hampshire. Following the outbreak off the war, his brother Louis was killed in action on 21st September 1914 while serving with the Durham Light Infantry. Alexander was shipped to France / Belgium on the 5th October 1914 as noted on his Medal Index Card and a little under three weeks later he was killed in action which is shown as 25th October 1914 (His units War Diary is shown below for the period).
He is honoured and remembered at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium as he was either never found or was never identified.
The single Pension Card for both Louis and Alexander show their mother Agnes as receiving the funds from their respective pensions as a result of their deaths, her address was shown as Chapel Street, Birr, Kings Co. (now County Offaly) Ireland.
The War Diary of the 2nd Border Regiment 24th / 25th / 26th October 1914
The following is an extract from the above publication:-
24th October 1914 – Kruiseik Hill
Several small attacks were launched by the enemy but were repulsed. The bombardment by enemy artillery was increased – some of the trenches being blown in by heavy artillery.
25th October 1914 – Kruiseik Hill
Small attacks were again made at different points but no general attacks were launched by the enemy. His artillery appeared to have been increased by heavy pieces and a terrific fire was directed at our trenches during the day. The enemy on ‘B’ Company’s front put up a white flag in the morning and Major W Allan, D.S.O. (edit- William Lynn Allen) left his trench to go over to them. He was almost instantly killed by rifle fire. ‘C’ Company and ‘D’ Company were relieved in trenches about 7pm by South Staffords Regiment and took up a reserve position near Brigade Headquarters, 1,000 yards. in rear. Lieutenant E.C. Clegg was injured by a shell explosion. Our casualties were 3 killed, 25 wounded.
26th October 1914 – Kruiseik Hill
During the night of 25th-26th the enemy had advanced considerably and concentrated in large numbers in woods to our front. They launched an attack at about 9am and succeeded in taking the front line trenches occupied by ‘A’ and ‘B’ Companies – the few survivors – (about 70 in all) returning to the flanks and joining up in rear with the Scouts and Battalion Head Quarters. The enemy continued to advance in mass but were eventually held in check by the Scouts, under Lieutenant Lamb, Machine Gun under Lieutenant W Watson, and Battalion Headquarters under Lieutenant-Colonel L. Wood.
‘C’ Company under Captain L.E.H. Molyneux – Section advanced up the hill to KRUISEIK in lines of platoons to support ‘A’ and ‘B’ and if necessary retake trenches but orders were received from Brigade Headquarters for them to return to ZANVOORDE.
At about 5pm Headquarters Scouts and Machine Gun fell back on Brigade Headquarters, the 1st and 2nd Divisions having come up on our left, the attack was commenced. The Battalion marched from Brigade Headquarters at about 8pm and rested in a field near ZANVOORDE for the night. In the afternoon, ‘C’ Company finding ZANVOORDE in ruins on arrival marched through to YPRES and billeted.
Alexander Francis Alcock was born circa 1889 at Dublin, Ireland. The following family details has been ascertained from various Census’s.
His family is shown as follows :-
- Father: Thomas Alcock, born c.1849 at Oxton, Nottinghamshire.
- Step-Mother: Ellen Alcock, born c.1855 at Lanarkshire.
- Mother: Agnes Alcock, born c.1864 at Ireland.
- Step-Sister: Elizabeth E., born c.1877 at Portsea, Hampshire.
- Step-Brother: Thomas R., born c.1879 at Portsmouth, Hampshire.
- Step-Brother: Charles W., born c.1880 at Shorncliffe Camp, Kent.
- Brother – Louis Augustus, born c.1887 at Ireland, died 1914.
- Sister: Mary, born c.1893 at Ireland.
- Sister: Ellen Seymour, born 25 August 1893 at Ireland.
- Sister: Victoria Maud, born c.1898 at Ireland.
Furthermore, The Register of Soldiers Effects, gives a long list of recipients a small amount of money from the military following his death, apart from his mother, all would appear to be his brothers, sisters and step-brothers, the additional ones not mentioned above being William, Bernard, John and Teresa.
The following addresses have been ascertained for Alexander Alcock :-
- 1901: 5 Denman Street, Nottingham.
Alexander Francis Alcock was awarded the 1914 Star, Victory and the British War Medals for his service in the Great War.
Other than the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, I have been unable to trace a specific War Memorial for him.
Links to Additional Information
- Find a Grave website – Alexander Francis Alcock – Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
- A Street Near You website – Alexander Francis Alcock
- Lives of the First World War – Alexander Francis Alcock
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Alexander Francis Alcock
- Nottinghamshire County Council – Roll of Honour
- Medal Index Card.
- Soldiers Died in the Great War.
- Register of Soldiers Effects.
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
- Find a Grave.
- 1911 Census.
- Medal Roll – Border Regiment – British War Medal and Victory Medal.
- Nottingham Evening Post dated 6 January 1915.
- Pension Cards – (Western Front Association)
- Vincent Stuart.
- Marvin & Samme Templin (Memorial photo)