Alfred John Newington was born in 1878. The oldest of four children to Alfred and Minna Newington, Alfred Sr was a hosier, and the family lived in Brighton, Sussex.
Alfred Sr passed away in 1899, and by this time, his eldest son had followed his trade, becoming a gentleman’s outfitter. By the time of the 1911 census, he was the only one of the siblings still living at home, and was supporting Minna financially and in the family business along the coast in Worthing.
As with his early life, details of Alfred’s military service are a little scarce. However, a newspaper report of his passing gives more detail.
DEATH OF LIEUTENANT NEWINGTON
We learn with regret that Lieutenant Alfred J Newington died at Nordrath [sic], Blagdon, Somerset, on Friday. He was the eldest son of the late Mr Alfred Newington and of Mrs Newington, of Somerset Villa, Richmond Road.
The death of Mr Newington Sr took place after an illness of a long duration, in July 1899, after he had been in business her for about sixteen years. He came hither from Brighton, and established himself as an outfitter at the corner of Warwick Street at the premises now occupied by Messrs. Kinch Brothers.
During his residence here, Mr AJ Newington, who assisted his father in the business, had an exciting experience in the summer of 1896. He and Mr Frederick Barnwell and a friend names Wadham went towards Lancing on a fishing expedition and the boat was capsized, and Mr Barnwell was drowned, whilst Mr Newington and Mr Wadham were in the water for an hour and a half, eventually reaching the shore in an exhausted condition.
In February 1897, Mr Newington went to South Africa, and when War broke out he became a trooper in the South Africa Light Horse. He was subsequently awarded the silver medal with six bars, bearing the names of Belmont, Laing’s Nek, the Relief of Ladysmith, Orange Free State, Tugela Heights and Cape Colony.
When he came back to England, Mr Newington returned to the business and was a member of the Somerset Yeomanry, in which he advanced to the rank of Sergeant Major. His health failed about eight years ago, and he undertook a trip to the Baltic.
During the present War, he joined the Army Service Corps, and was attached to the Indian Cavalry Division in France, and it is only within a comparatively brief period that he was on leave at Worthing. His relatives will receive the sympathy of a wide circle of friends in the loss they have now sustained.Worthing Gazette: Wednesday 9th May 1917
Second Lieutenant Newington had actually been admitted to the Nordrach Sanatorium near Blagdon in Somerset. This was a hospital that specialised in the treatment of tuberculosis, so it is safe to assume that this is the condition that affected him. He passed away on 4th May 1917, at the age of 39 years old.
Alfred John Newington wasn’t taken back to Worthing for burial. Instead, he lies at rest in the quiet churchyard of St Bartholomew’s in the village of Ubley, near Blagdon, in Somerset.