Rank: Gunner
Number: 54616
Date of Death: 29 October 1918
Age: 41
Cemetery: Vadencourt British Cemetery, Maissemy, Aisne, France

Alfred Tanner had enlisted into the army in May 1915 and survived until just less than two weeks of it were left. He had been wounded, towards the end of 1917 or early in 1918 and had been in a military hospital in Ashton under Lyne, before returning to duty some weeks before his death. And it would not be combat that killed him, but the ‘flu. In the autumn of 1918, there was a worldwide pandemic of influenza which killed many millions, most like Alfred, dying when it developed into pneumonia.

He had been born in Stockport and is thought to have been a single man. Before he joined up, he worked for John Clegg & Sons Ltd, Heapriding Mill on Ford Street. The men of the Royal Garrison Artillery fired the heaviest weapons in the arsenal of the British Army and 1st Siege Battery was equipped with four 6 inch guns which would be used to batter enemy strongpoints.

Alfred’s bout of flu took his life very quickly. He had reported sick and had only been evacuated to a tented field hospital (1st Casualty Clearing Station) a few miles away when he died.

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