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  • Grave, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand
Person Details
15 Apr 1894
Bulwell Nottingham
Alfred Douglas Widdowson was born 15 April 1894, the fifth and youngest son of Walter and Hephzibah Widdowson. His father Walter was born in Hucknall Torkard, Nottinghamshire, about 1856; he was the son of Levi Widdowson a self-employed butcher. His mother Hephzibah was born in Lincolnshire in 1852 (J/F/M Holbeach). Walter and Hephzibah were married in 1880 (O/N/D Spalding Lincolnshire) and had six children: William Caulton birth registered 1882 (J/F/M Basford), Ethel b. 1 March 1884 (A/M/J Basford), Norman Boyer birth registered 1887 (J/F/M Basford), Walter Percy b. 9 January 1889, Sydney Gover b. 15 September 1891 (O/N/D Basford) and Alfred Douglas b. 15 April 1894 (A/M/J Basford). All the children were born in Bulwell. At the time of the 1881 Census, shortly after their marriage, Walter and his wife were living at 36 Main Street, Bulwell; he was a butcher. By 1891 they were at 83 Market Side (Main Street), Bulwell, which was probably also the premises of Walter's butcher's shop. They were living at the same address in 1901; only the five youngest of their six children were in the home on the night of the census: Ethel (17), Norman (14), Walter (12), Sydney (9) and Alfred (6). Also in the household was a female domestic servant. By 1911 Walter (55) and Hephzibah (57) were living at 8 Ebury Road, Nottingham. Walter's occupation was now given as hosiery finisher (employer). Only three of their children were in the home on the night of the census: William (29) a lace manufacturer, Ethel (26) and Norman (24) who was a butcher and probably managing the butcher's shop in Bulwell. Alfred, who would have been about 17 years old, may have been working for a silk company in France at this time. Walter and Hephizibah later moved to 12 Ebury Road which was the family home until the death of Hephzibah in 1940. Walter senior died on 8 February 1936 and his widow on 29 July 1940 at the age of 88. Only three of their six children, Ethel, Walter and Sydney, survived them. Of Alfred's siblings: Walter Caulton died on 14 January 1921. He was unmarried and living with his parents at 12 Ebury Road. His occupation was lace manufacturer. Ethel married Harold Leonard Pycroft (b. 1886), a director of Newton and Pycroft Ltd, lace machine builders, in 1911 (A/M/J Nottingham). They lived at 12 Mapperley Park Drive. Harold died at the age of 27 on 13 October 1913; Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’ 14 October 1913: ‘Pycroft. On the 13th inst. Harold Leonard (Leonard), beloved husband of Ethel Pycroft, Mapperley Park-drive, and son of Councillor John and Mary Pycroft, aged 27 years. Service Mansfield-road Wesleyan Church, 1.45, Thursday; Interment 2.30 Church Cemetery.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk). Harold's brother, Arthur, served with the RFC and was killed in England in a flying accident on 16 June 1917 (Nottingham Church Cemetery). Ethel married Robert C Wilkinson in 1920 (J/A/S Nottingham). In 1939 at the time the England and Wales Register was compiled Ethel and Robert (b. 11 February 1894), a retired Indian Army Officer, were living in Nottingham. Ethel died in December 1970. Norman Boyer married Minnie Brobson (sic) in 1924 (A/M/J Nottingham). Norman died on 1 April 1927; Nottingham Evening Post, 5 April 1927, ‘Mr CL Rothera, the Nottingham City Coroner, yesterday held an inquest at Hyson Green on the body of Norman Boyes Widdowson, aged 40, of 64, Nottingham-road, who carried on business as a butcher at 83, Main-street, Bulwell. He was found lying shot at his business premises on Friday, having apparently placed a revolver in his mouth. A brother, Mr Syndey Gover Widdowson, 12 Ebury-road, told the Coroner that Widdowson had an attack of influenza a few months ago and had been depressed since. On Thursday he complained of pains in his head. The Coroner returned a verdict of ‘Suicide’ adding that there was not sufficient evidence to determine the state of his mind at the time.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk). Walter Percy served in the Army Ordnance Corps during the war (1150 Staff Sergeant), attesting on 20 January 1916, but was discharged 'no longer physically fit for War Service (Para 392 XVI KR)' on 7 September 1917. His home address was given as 12 Ebury Road. Walter had married Edith Killingley on 4 March 1916 at St Luke's parish church, Old Charlton, London. At the time of his marriage Walter's address was Bernard Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight. His wife was living at 24 Maryon Road, Charlton, and this was given as their address after the marriage. In 1939 Walter, a chartered mechanical engineer, and Edith (b. 7 March 1888), were living in Harrow Middlesex. He died in 1978 (Sep Richmond on Thames, London) aged 89. Sydney married Dorothy MB Bamford (b. 9 May 1905) in 1930 (J/F/M Nottingham) and in 1939 they were living at 361 Valley Road, Nottingham. Sydney was described as a textile engineer. He died on 6 October 1981; he was then living at 313 Aspley Lane, Nottingham.
He was educated at the Nottingham High School and on leaving school Widdowson was sent to France to learn the textile trade. He was working in Lyon, France, for a silk company at the outbreak of the First World War and enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery whilst in Lyon.
18 Feb 1919
2750323 - CWGC Website
Second Lieutenant
Royal Garrison Artillery
He was severely gassed in 1918 and invalided home. He died at his home at Ivy Bank, 12 Ebury Road, of influenza and lobar pneumonia on 18 February 1919, having been weakened by gas poisoning. He was interred with full military honours in Nottingham Church Cemetery on 24 February.
Inscription on headstone: 'Alfred Douglas Widdowson, Lt RGA, died 18th February 1919, aged 24 years.' His older brother, William Caulton, who died on 14 January 1921, is also buried in the plot. Nottingham Post notice (abridged), 18 February 1919: Widdowson. On the 18th inst of pneumonia at Ivy Bank, Ebury Road, Nottingham, Second Lieutenant AD Widdowson, RGA, youngest son of Walter and Hepzibah Widdowson, age 24. Church Cemetery.' In memoriam published 21st February 1919 in the Nottingham Evening post :- “WIDDOWSON. – On the 18th inst., of pneumonia, at Ivy Bank, Ebury Road, Nottingham, Second-Lieut. A. D. Widdowson, R.G.A., dearly beloved youngest son of Walter and Hephie Widdowson, aged 24. Military funeral Monday, 2 o'clock, Church Cemetery.” Article published 24th February 1919 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- FUNERAL OF SEC.-LIEUT. A. D. WIDDOWSON. “The funeral of Sec.-Lieut. A. D. Widdowson, R.G.A., youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Widdowson, Ivy Bank, Ebury-road, Nottingham, whose death occurred from pneumonia on Tuesday last, took place at the Church Cemetery, Nottingham, to-day. [24th February 1919] The coffin, which was covered with the Union Jack, was borne to the cemetery on gun carriage, and a firing party was in attendance. Rev. T. W. Peck (vicar of St. Augustine's) conducted the service, and following the firing of three volleys, the buglers sounded the “Last Post..” “Deceased, who was an old Nottingham High School boy, was resident in Lyons at the outbreak of war, and after working in the French military hospitals for some time, he returned home and obtained a commission in December, 1917.” Article and Notice are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 Probate: Widdowson Alfred Douglas of 12 Ebury-road Nottingham lieutenant in HM Army died 18 February 1919 Probate Nottingham 11 November to Walter Widdowson hosiery finisher. Effects £280 12s. 11d. Probate: Widdowson Walter of 12 Ebury-road Nottingham died 8 February 1936 Probate Nottingham 20 October to Walter Percy Widdowson engineer Sydney Gover Widdowson textile engineer and Ethel Wilkinson (wife of Robert Wilkinson). Effects £9324 7s. 6d. Probate: Widdowson Hephizabah (sic) of 12 Ebury-road Nottingham widow died 29 July 1940 Probate Nottingham 3 February to Walter Percy Widdowson mechanical engineer Sydney Gover Widdowson textile engineer and Ethel Wilkinson (wife of Robert Cecil Wilkinson). Effects £3277 12s. 6d.
Remembered on


  • Grave, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand
    Alfred Douglas Widdowson - Grave, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand
  • Grave, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand.
    Alfred Douglas Widdowson - Grave, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand.