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Person Details
13 May 1890
Kentish Town, London
Born in 1890 in Islington, Alfred James was the son of Henry James and Rebecca Jane Folkes nee Day. Henry James was born in Yarmouth, Norfolk (1859), and Rebecca Jane in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (abt. 1857). They were married in 1879; the marriage was registered in Apr/May/June in the registration district of Wakefield. According to the 1911 census, Henry and Rebecca had nine children born alive of whom only six were still living at the time of the census. Seven children were named on the census between 1881 and 1911: William Henry, b. 1880, Flush Dyke, Yorkshire, baptised 1 August 1880 (Ossett, York). Alice Louise, b. 1881, Flush Dyke, Yorkshire, baptised 4 September 1881 (Ossett, York). Edith Emily, b. abt. 1883, Flush Dyke, Yorkshire, baptised 7 January 1883 (Ossett, York). Lily Agnes, b. abt. 1885, Colwick, Nottingham, died 1904 aged 19 (death registered Jan/Feb/Mar, Nottingham). Florence Jane, b. abt. 1886, Colwick, Nottingham. Alfred James, b. 13 May 1890, Islington, London, died 11 May 1915. Frederick Ernest, b. 28 November 1898, Netherfield, Nottingham, died 1970 aged 71 (death registered Bingham). In 1881 Henry, who was employed as a railway signalman, was living in Ossett cum Gawthorpe, Yorkshire, with his wife and ten-month old son, William Henry. Their eldest daughters, Alice and Edith, were also born while they were living in Yorkshire. By 1891 the family had moved to 26 Salisbury Road, Tottenham, London, although as two of their growing family had been born in Colwick, Nottingham, about five years previously it is probable that in the period after the 1881 census that they had lived for a time in Nottingham. Henry and Rebecca now had six children; William (11), Alice (9), Edith (8), Lily (6), Florence (5) and Alfred (10 months). Henry was employed as a railway goods guard. By 1901 they had moved back to Nottingham and were living at 47 Curzon Street, Netherfield. Only four children were now living at home; William, Alice, Alfred and their youngest child, Frederick Ernest (2). Their second daughter, Edith (18), was a general domestic servant at 19 Arundel Street, Lenton, in the household of John Lamb who was an architect and civil engineer; the census noted that Edith was 'slightly deaf'. The youngest daughter, Florence (15), was a general domestic servant in the household of Thomas S Ratcliffe at 'Crail', Gedling Road, Carlton in the Willows, Nottingham. Their third daughter, Lily, has not yet been traced on the 1901 census and sadly she died in 1904 at the age of 19. Two years later in 1906 Alfred joined the Royal Navy. By 1911 Henry and Rebecca had moved to 81 Colwick Vale and only William and Frederick were still living at home. Alice and Edith were domestic servants in the household of John Pycroft who was the managing director of a company that built lace machines. Alice was their housemaid and Edith the cook. Florence who had been in service in 1901 has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census. Alfred was serving at HMS Excellent. Henry and Rebecca eventually moved to Avondale House, 7 Grosvenor Road, Skegness, and they were probably still living in Lincolnshire when Henry died in 1925 at the age of 65 as his death was registered in the Spilsby registration district. Rebecca died in 1938 aged 82; her death was registered in the Basford registration district.
He was employed as a number taker on the railways when he joined the Royal Navy in 1906.
11 Mar 1915
3033580 - CWGC Website
Royal Navy
Alfred joined the Royal Navy initially as a boy recruit in January 1906 and along with many other new recruits he started his training at HMS Ganges, one of the navy's training establishments. On 3rd May 1908, when he had reached the age of 18 years Alfred signed on for 12 years with the Royal Navy as an Ordinary Seaman. He made Able Seaman in November 1909 and then Leading Seaman in November 1912. Alfred's conduct was normally given as Good or Very Good. Leading Seaman Alfred James Folkes was serving in HMS Bayano, an Armed Merchant Cruiser. She left port independently on the way to Liverpool engaged in patrol duties and was torpedoed by U27 off the Clyde in March 1915. Newspapers at the time stated that the ship sank quickly and with many of the men asleep below 197 lost their lives and their bodies were never recovered. Only 26 men were saved. The U27 was later sunk in August of the same year by HMS Baralong. Alfred is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. He was eligible for the 1914-15 Star, the Victory and British War Medals. Alfred served in the following ships and shore establishments: HMS Ganges 17 January 1906-4 May 1906 (Boy 2nd Class); HMS Impregnable 5 May 1906-8 January 1907 (Boy 1st Class 13 December 1906); HMS Euryalis 9 January 1907-17 May 1907; HMS Goliath 18 May 1907-24 May 1907; HMS Gladiator 25 May 1907-15 July 1907; HMS Juno 16 July 1907-10 October 1910 (Ordinary Seaman 13 May 1908, Able Seaman 25 November 1909); HMS Furious 11 October 1910-18 March 1911; HMS Excellent 19 March 1911-30 September 1911; Victory I 1 October 1911-9 October 1911; HMS Medina 10 October 1911-15 February 1912; Victory 16 February 1912-18 March 1912; HMS Duke of Edinburgh 19 March 1912-4 March 1914 (Leading Seaman 15 November 1912); HMS Excellent 5 March 1914-16 August 1914; HMS King Alfred 17 August 1914-15 October 1914; Victory I 16 October 1914-9 December 1914; HMS Excellent 10 December 1914-11 March 1915. RN record annotated, ‘NP 1141/15. DD 11 March 1915 when Bayans was sunk.’
The Colwick War Memorial states that Alfred died in 1918 but the actual date is 1915.
Remembered on