Alfred Henry MULLARD
Rank: Private
Number: S/5050
Date of Death: 27 September 1915
Age: 20
Cemetery: Lillers Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

Alfred Mullard married Mary E Townley at St Thomas' Church, Stockport in the late autumn of 1890. Their third child (and first son) was born in 1895 and they called him after his father. The records of the 1901 national census show the family living at 4 Carnarvon Street, Stockport. Alfred worked as a messenger for the Post Office. His son was then aged 6. The two daughters were Charlotte (10) and Annie (7).

When War was declared in August 1914, Alfred was serving an apprenticeship to become a decorator and was working for a Mr Hammett who was also an Alderman on Stockport Council. Alfred enlisted into the army at Stockport on 21 September 1914 and travelled to Fort George to start training a week later. He went overseas with the newly formed 7th Battalion on 19 May 1915.

September brought the Seaforths to northern France in the vicinity of the town of Lens. A major attack had been planed for some time that would, later, be officially called the Battle of Loos.

The Battle started on 25 September. The British 9th Division, which included the Seaforths, was task with attacking two of the most difficult positions on the whole battle field - the Hohenzollern Redoubt and a position known as Fosse 8.

At 6.25am, smoke canisters were set off 15 yards into No Man's Land to shield the men as they "went over the top", four minutes later. Alfred and his mates advanced through the smoke at a steady walk. Shortly after, they came under fire from rifles and machine guns. The Battalion War Diary notes that the fire was not very accurate "as smoke made it difficult for the Germans to see us clearly. A few men went down under this fire, which seemed to come from machine guns to our right. The Germans continued to hold the Redoubt and we lost a good many officers at the front trench. We continued to advance and bombed up the Communication trenches to the main German trench."

They reached Fosse 7 trench at the rear of the Redoubt by 7am and pushed on to Fosse 8. Within half an hour, they were in Corons Trench which had been flooded by the enemy, where they halted and re-organised.  "We were exposed to a murderous fire from the enemy's guns and the behaviour of the men was worthy of the highest praise". They consolidated this position which they held until they were relieved in the early hours of the next morning.

Sometime during the day, Alfred was badly wounded. He would have received treatment from the Battalion's own medical officer just behind the front line, but this would have been little more than first aid. He would then have been evacuated to a field hospital (6th Casualty Clearing Station) at Lillers (a distance of about 27 kilometres on modern roads). There, military surgeons would have done all they could to save his life, but without success. The Presbyterian Chaplain at the hospital later wrote to the family saying that, because of the pressure of work caused by the number of casualties arriving, it had not been possible to establish the nature or cause of Alfred's wounds.

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