Private 24417 Alfred Henry Price Reynolds

Killed in Action on Monday, 3rd July 1916, age 36.
Commemorated on Pier and Face 3 C and 4 A of Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

11th Bn., Cheshire Regiment. 75th Brigade of 25th Division.

Husband of Mrs Elizabeth Reynolds.
Born: Gospel Oak, Enlisted: Ellesmere Port, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 26th September 1916.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1550984/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Alfred Henry P. Reynolds registered September quarter 1879 in Dudley.

1891 Census.
58 Gospel Oak Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Alfred Reynolds (33, Coal Dealer, born Tipton), his wife Matilda (33, born West Bromwich), and their 6 children: Alfred (11, Scholar, born Tipton), James (8, Scholar, born Tipton), Daniel (6, Scholar, born Tipton), William (5, born Tipton), George (2, born Tipton), and Laura (10 months, born Tipton).

Marriage of Alfred Reynolds and Elizabeth Brown registered December quarter 1899 in Dudley.

1901 Census
40 Daisy Bank, Coseley, Staffs.
Alfred Reynolds (21, Loader at Blast Furnace, born Gospel Oak), his wife Elizabeth (22, born Gospel Oak), and their son: Leonard (5 months, born Gospel Oak).

1911 Census
90 Hall Green Street, Daisy Bank, Coseley, Staffs.
Alfred Reynolds (32, Coal Wheeler, born Sedgley), his wife Elizabeth (32, born Sedgley), and their 6 surviving children of 7: Leonard (11, School, born Sedgley), James (8, School, born West Bromwich), Matilda (7, School, born West Bromwich), Alfred (4, born Bilston), Elizabeth (2, born Bilston), and William (1 month, born Bilston).

Personal Data

None Available.

Action resulting in his death

Thiepval had been an objective for the first day of the Battle of the Somme - 1st July, but had not been captured. On 2nd July the 11th Cheshires received orders that they would take part in an assault on a German stronghold known as the Leipzig Salient, south of Thiepval. They assembled for during night of 2nd July for the attack initially planned for 3.00am on the next morning.

The plan was revised at almost the last moment but details were not notified to the Battalion until 3 hours before the attack was to commence. In consequence, it was necessary to delay the assault for another three hours. The Regimental History notes that, whilst the infantry received new orders, the artillery did not. The barrage started according to the original plan and, when they had to try and repeat the process to cover the actual attack, found they had insufficient ammunition and could only fire a modest barrage. It was to have disastrous consequences.

According to the Battalion War Diary, the Cheshires "went over the top in perfect order" on schedule at 6.20am. It also records that they passed over No Man's Land in perfect order but about 50 yards from the German trench, heavy machine gun fire brought the attack to a standstill. "Line after line of troops were mown down". The Commanding Officer, Colonel Aspinal, was killed going forward with the reserve company, and every Company commander became a casualty. The Adjutant, Captain Hill, took command and "decided to get the men still living back into the trench they had jumped off from and to hold it as a defence line." The attack was completely unsuccessful.

The Regimental History records that "On the morning of the 4th, no organised body of men existed. One simply ran about no-man's land collecting men here and there."

Of the 20 Officers and 657 Other Ranks who had gone into action, only 6 Officers and 350 Other Ranks were able to answer roll call on the 4th. The rest were dead, wounded or missing. Amongst the 86 dead, according to 'Soldiers Died in the Great War', were Alfred Reynolds and Edward Williams, both Tipton-born men but amongst many who had migrated to Ellesmere Port. Neither has a known grave, and both are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.

Thiepval would remain in German hands for many weeks and would cost many more lives.

Newspaper Cuttings