CWG: Private Alfred Northway

Private Alfred Northway

Alfred William Winsor Northway was born on 3rd December 1870 in Barnstaple, Devon. He was the only child to farm labourer John Northway and his wife Susan. By the time Alfred was a few months old, John had moved the young family to Ashburton.

On 2nd March 1890, Alfred married Susanna Raddon in Newton Abbot. The couple went on to have eleven children – Susanna already had two children when they married; there is no indication as to whether they were also Alfred’s.

By the time they married, Alfred was working as a farm labourer. This was a job he continued to do to support his rapidly growing family. War was coming to Europe, however, and the stability of life in Ashburton was soon to change. During this time, he volunteered for the 3rd Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment and this stood him in good stead moving forward.

At least two of Alfred and Susanna’s sons enlisted when the First World War broke out; not to be outdone, Alfred also joined up on 11th September 1914. Assigned to the 11th (Reserve) Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment as a Private, there is no indication that he saw any time abroad. Instead it seems that he served at the regiment’s depot in Wareham, Dorset, supporting the Training Reserve.

By the end of 1916, Private Northway had fallen ill. Admitted to the Sidney Hall Hospital in Weymouth with pneumonia, sadly the condition got the better of him. He passed away on 3rd February 1917, at the age of 46 years old.

Alfred William Winsor Northway was brought back to Ashburton for burial. He was laid to rest in the graveyard of St Andrew’s Church in the town.


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