Alfred William Andrews

Memorial: Dyrham - St Peter's Church

Regiment: Devonshire Regiment

Medals: British War Medal, Next of Kin Memorial Plaque 1914 - 1921, Victory Medal

Rank and number: Private 13945

Parents: Robert Wickham and Alice Clara Andrews

Home address: 10 Dyrham Street (Lower Street), Dyrham, Chippenham, Wilts

Pre-war occupation: Gardener

Date of birth: 1889

Place of birth: Wotton-under-Edge, Glos

Date of death: 10/02/1917

Buried/Commemorated at: Doiron Memorial, Greece

Age: 28

Further information:

Robert Andrews, Alfred's father was a gardener at Dyrham Park, they lived in one of the village houses. Joseph Nash the next door neighbour to the family was also lost.

Alfred served with the 10th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Alfred's Battalion was part of the 'Third New Army' - formed in 1915 after the regulars and Territorials had been assigned to regiments. The Division arrived in France in September 1915 but was soon on to Macedonia in November 1915, as part of the British Salonica Force fighting the Bulgarians. It remained there until the Armistice

The Allies occupied a line in Macedonia with trenches for two years with battles becoming more tense with time. The British Salonica Force suffered about 2800 deaths in action, 1400 from wounds and 4200 from sickness, including malaria.

The Reverand Wynter Blathwayte, Rector of Dyrham, used to write to the men from Dyrham and Hinton. The following are extracts of letters from Alfred Andrews in reply:

March 30th
Dear Sir
I am writing a few lines in answer to your letter and to thank you for the newspaper you so kindly sent me. We shifted camp last week, we are amongst the hills here where everything has to be brought on packsaddles by mules because its too steep for wheeled transport. I expect the severe weather has put the garden and other work behind. Out here we have it so hot that we have to work early in the morning and late in the afternoon and evening because it is too hot to work in the middle of the day. We have to work eight hours a day at road making, trench digging or drill. There are a lot of snakes and lizards about here and numberless toads and frogs which are making a row day and night, putting me in mind of a rookery at nesting time. We enjoy looking at the papers, we have plenty of time for reading in the middle of the day. I must now bring my letter to a close, hoping you and Mrs Blathwayte are in the best of health as this letter leaves me. I remain yours respectfully, Fred Andrews

January 5th
Dear Sir
I am writing to thank you for the Xmas card and also for your interesting letter. We have been in Greece for about seven weeks and have got pretty used to it out here. For food we mostly get biscuits and bully. We spent a quiet Xmas day, just like any other except that we had a holiday. We haven't had our Xmas mails in yet, but are expecting them every day now. I have not seen the Dyrham boys that are in the Royal Irish, they have had a rough time of it. We have got to wait for a newspaper from England to know how things are going on. The weather is always changeable here, its mostly cold at night. There are lots of crocus in flower about here, other things growing wild are cyclamen and a good many rock plants. I hear some more have enlisted in Dyrham. Wishing you a Happy New Year, Fred Andrews

By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):

Edward Walsh and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Forces War Records