Alfred Kershaw was born in Royton on March 25th 1898, the son of Ernest and Sarah. Ernest, an iron worker, was Royton born himself and Sarah was born in Newton Moor which
now forms part of Hyde. Known siblings of Alfred were Hannah, Ellen, Henry, Elizabeth, John, Ernest & Charles with Alfred being the youngest of these. John and Ernest jnr died prior to Alfred's birth. Further tragedy struck the family in 1908, when Alfred was just ten years old, when his mother Sarah died.
Before joining the army, Alfred lived his whole life at 32 Chapel Street. After leaving St Paul's school he worked as a piecer in one of the local cotton mills.
Alfred's brother Charles was a member of the Oldham Territorials - the 1st/10th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment - who went out to fight in Gallipoli in 1915. The local unit suffered heavy casualties and Charles was to return home after having had a leg amputated.
On June 6th 1916 Alfred enlisted in Royton, he was then placed into the reserve and sent home to await his callup. This came in January 1917 and he was at first allocated to the South Lancashire Regiment, joining one of it's reserve units based in the UK. In March however he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. He underwent under two months training and was then sent for active service in France, leaving Folkestone for Boulogne on May 6th. Some further training followed before he was allocated to the Machine Gun Corp's 50th Company on May 31st. He reached his new unit on June 1st behind the lines at Grenas in the Arras area. The 50th Company were one of the machine gun units assigned to the 17th Division.
During Alfred's first couple of weeks with the unit they were engaged in training and then on June 19th were sent up towards the front, taking their places at the front line on June 20th where they stayed until the 29th before being relieved by the 51st MGC Company. They spent their time out of the line at St Nicholas before it was their turn again to man the front line on July 7th. On July 13th Alfred Kershaw was wounded by enemy fire and the following day died at 52 Field Ambulance.
Within two weeks Alfred's father Ernest back in Royton received the official notification that he had died of his wounds.
Ernest Kershaw died in 1930 aged 68 and is buried in Royton Cemetery alongside his wife Sarah.
Date of Death:14/07/1917
Regiment:Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
Cemetery:Wancourt British Cemetery