Alfred Shepherd

Alfred Shepherd was killed in action on Saturday 12 August 1916 aged 18. He enlisted at Hertford on 19 June 1915 when it was recorded that his age was 19 years and 2 months, his height 5 ft. 8¼ ins., his chest fully expanded 34 ins., his vision normal and his physical development satisfactory. He went to France from Southampton with the 1st Bn., Hertfordshire Regiment, on 21 April 1916 and was attached to the 8th Bn., Gloucestershire Regiment, on 11 July. He was killed while serving with the 8th Glosters. He is (like Randal Harwood) buried at St. Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery in Belgium.

Alfred was born at Ayot St. Peter on 5 June 1898, the son of Mary Ann Shepherd. At the time of the 1901 census Mary Ann was living with her parents William and Martha, her brother Charles and his wife Mary and their adopted son James Wigmore in the old cottage which (as we have just heard) was demolished in 1913 to make way for the building of Haven House, 35 Ayot Green. Mary Ann was a single woman making a living as a dressmaker and had with her Alfred (aged two) and two other children – William aged 12 and Gertrude aged nine. Alfred was baptised in this church on 4 September 1908. After Alfred’s death Mary Ann completed a form for the army in which she stated that William and Gertrude were Alfred’s half-brother and half-sister. In 1911 and at the time of Alfred’s death five years later Mary Ann was living at The Green, Kimpton. As already mentioned, her brother Charles was by then a widower and had moved to Kimpton with her.