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  • Buried in Bethune Town Cemetery
Person Details
Mansfield Nottinghamshire
Alfred James was the son of Samuel and Ethel Mary Godber (née Butler). His father Samuel was born in Cummeringham, Lincolnshire, in 1864, the son of John Thomas and Fanny Bullivant, and baptised at the parish church on 1 January 1865. His father was a farmer in Cummeringham and in 1871 employed 13 labourers and two boys. John and Fanny had four children in 1871 and employed two domestic servants and a governess, Alissimon Archer (23). Samuel's mother died in July 1881 and his father married Alissimon Archer in 1884. Samuel qualified as a medical practitioner and had a practice in Mansfield before moving to Sussex. His mother Ethel Mary Godber was born in Nottingham on 1 October 1872, the daughter of Arthur Joynes Butler and his wife Mary Elizabeth (née Davenport). Ethel was baptised at Nottingham St Andrew on 10 November 1872; the family was then living on Villa Road, Nottingham. Ethel's father was a successful businessman, becoming managing director of Messrs M Jacoby & Co. amd Messrs S Burton & Co Ltd, a JP and city councillor as well as a Freeman of the City of London and Consul for Costa Rica and for Venezuala in Nottingham. (d. May 1921, residence Mapperley House, Private Road, Nottingham). Samuel and Ethel were married at Mansfield St John the Evangelist on 4 February 1891 when she was 18 years old and he 26. They had five children: Arthur Samuel John b. Mansfield 1891 bap. St John the Evangelist 4 February 1892; Beatrice Mary b. Mansfield 1894 bap. St John 20 December 1894; Alfred James b. Mansfield 1897 bap. St John 10 July 1897; Beryl b. Nottingham 1899 bap. Mapperley St Jude 19 November 1899 and Marjorie May b. Cuckfield Sussex 1901. Both sons died in the war. Shortly after their marriage, Samuel, a medical practitioner, and Ethel were living on Clarkson Street, Mansfield; they employed two domestic servants. They later lived in Westgate but had moved to Annesley Grove, Nottingham, by 1899 when their second daughter Beryl was born. Ethel's father assisted Samuel to buy a partnership at Burgess Hill, Cuckfield, Sussex, and in 1901 Samuel, described as a physician and surgeon, was living on Church Road, Burgess Hill, with his wife and their four children: Arthur (9), Beatrice (6), Alfred (3) and Beryl (1). They employed two domestic servants. Their fifth child Marjorie was born later that year. Ethel divorced Samuel in 1905. The court case was reported in detail in the Mid-Sussex Times of March and April 1905. The judge granted Ethel a 'judicial separation and custody of the children.' Samuel Bullivant died on 18 September 1907; he was still a medical practitioner at Burgess Hill. Ethel married Ernest Henry Ford in 1908 (A/M/J Nottingham) and they adopted the surname Godber-Ford. They probably had four children. In 1911 Ernest (47 b. Malvern Worcs), a private tutor (own account), and Ethel (38) were living in Walton in Gorana, Somerset, with three of Ethel's five children, Alfred, a student, Beryl and Marjorie, and their son Geoffrey. Arthur, a school master's assistant, was living in Sheffield in the home of Alban Lawrence Griffiths (45), a school master (private), and his sister Ellen Griffiths. However, the following year Arthur enlisted in the Life Guards (see 'Military history'). Beatrice was living with her maternal grandparents, Arthur and Mary Butler, at Mapperley House, Nottingham. Ethel's husband Ernest died in 1938 (reg. A/M/J Cuckfield Sussex). In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled, she was living in Taunton, Somerset, with her daughters Marjorie M Murray (m. 1921), Muriel MEGW Morgan (m. 1939) and Ruth EM Godber-Ford. Ethel married David D Evans in 1941 and died in 1961.
21 Jul 1916
62327 - CWGC Website
Second Lieutenant
17th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
17th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment). Alfred served initially in the rank of private in the Sherwood Foresters and was woulded at Hooge in 1915. He was awarded a commission in January 1916. He died of wounds on 21 July 1916 although from newspaper reports at the time it appears that his death was not confirmed until the August. He is buried in Bethune Town Cemetery, France (grave ref. 3.K.32). He qualified for the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Alfred's older brother, Arthur James Samuel Bullivant, served in the 2nd Life Guards (2961 Corporal) and was killed in action on 31 October 1914 (Ypres Menin Gate Memorial). See record on this Roll of Honour. Both boys were born in Mansfield and lived in Nottingham, where their mother was born and her parents lived, for a very short time. The brothers' connection with St John Carrington will be through their maternal grandparents. CWGC Additional information: 'Son of the late Dr. Bullivant of Edwinstowe, Mansfield. Previously wounded at Hooge, 1915.' CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'Make them to be numbered with Thy saints' ('Te Deum') Nottingham Evening Post, 7 July 1916: ‘Lieut. AJ Bullivant. Information has reached Mr AJ Butler, of Mapperley House, Sherwood, that his grandson, Second-Lieut. AJ Bullivant, Sherwood Foresters, has been seriously wounded. He is 19 years of age, and enlisted as a private, gaining his commission in January last. This is the second occasion upon which he has been wounded, as he sustained an injury at Hooge. His elder brother, AJS Bulilvant, of the Life Guards, has been missing since October, 1914.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, 14 July 1916: ‘The Big Push. Sherwood Foresters’ Heavy Losses. Local Casualties. News continues to filter through to the county of the heavy losses sustained by the Sherwood Foresters in the recent heavy fighting … later comes the information that Second-Lieut AF Bullivant, a grandson of Mr AJ Butler, late of Mansfield, is amongst the wounded.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, 11 August 1916:’ Heavy Toll of the Sherwoods. Two officers and 328 men killed, wounded and missing. Second list since the push. … Sherwood Officers died from wounds. The officers’ list states that Second-Lieut. AJ Bullivant and Lieut SL Wilson, both of the Sherwood Foresters, have died of wounds sustained in action.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Buried in Bethune Town Cemetery
    Alfred James Bullivant - Buried in Bethune Town Cemetery