Cpl George William Christopher Alexander
12th Bn Essex Regiment

Town Memorial P1.R1.C3

Geo. WC Alexander
Essex Regt.

Nov 4 1918

Taken, Not Given, Liam Sumption, L&DLHS

George Alexander is not listed as serving in the Parish Magazine of May 1915¹.

In the Autumn of 1918 and early 1919 an infuenza epidemic known as the Spanish Flu ravaged Western Europe and killed whole families.

The Parish Magazine of December 1918 states that George William Christopher Alexander was buried on 9th November 1918 [two days later the war ended], a week after Ernest Wright. It records that they "had succumbed to the onset of infuenza and pneumonia, their resistance having been impaired by the severity of wounds sustained for which they had been discharged from the Army". ²

1. Parish Magazine of St Mary & St Nicholas, Leatherhead, May 1915, via Mr L Anstee
2. Parish Magazine of St Mary & St Nicholas, Leatherhead, Dec 1918

Further research

Nothing is yet known of the action in which the wounds which caused George Alexander to be discharged from the Army were received, nor why he was buried in Leatherhead rather than in Brightlingsea where his father lived until his death in 1940 and the family had roots.

Rank: Corporal
Regiment: Essex Regiment
Unit Text: 12th Bn.
Date of Death: 04/11/1918
Service No: 15226
Son of George Alexander, of The King's Head, Brightlingsea, Essex.
Grave/Memorial Reference: In East part. [local grave no. 419]

In Loving Memory of George
The Beloved Son of Capt G Alexander of Brightlingsea
Who Passed Away Nov 4 1918
God Called Him Home

He was born on 30th December 1892 in Brightlingsea, Essex. His father, George Christopher Alexander, was born in 1866 in Brightlingsea and died there in 1940.

His mother, Louisa Middlebrook Alexander (née Hornsby) was born in Barham, Kent, in 1858 and died the same year as George, on 17th March 1918 in Brightlingsea,

George had sisters Olive and Marjorie, and a brother, Arnold.

In the 1901 Census his family were at 91 Tower Street, Brightlingsea and by the 1911 Census they were at 27a Sydney Street. George was then 'working on his own account' at home. His father, George Christopher Alexander, was a Master Mariner. George's CWGC record shows that his father became a licensed victualler. The King's Head in Brightlingsea (41 Victoria Place) is a Grade II Listed Building

From the National Probate Calendar we learn where George was living at the tine of his death in Leatherhead: ALEXANDER George William Christopher of the Running Horse Inn Leatherhead Surrey died 4 November 1918 Administration London 27 November to George Christopher Alexander licensed victualler. Effects £265 13s 11d.

The Running Horse is a Grade II* Listed Building.

Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser - Saturday 16 November 1918
The funeral took place at the Leatherhead Churchyard on Saturday last of Mr. G. Alexander, of Bridge-street, Leatherhead, whose death was recorded in our last issue. The Vicar (the Rev. T, . Hobson) officiated, and deceased was borne to his last resting place by members of the Leatherhead Post of the Comrades the Great War, of which deceased had been captain since its formation. A detachment of the Leatherhead Company of the Surrey Volunteer Battalion also attended and fired volleys over deceased's grave, the “Last Post" being sounded by Master Otway.

The Press had carried reports earlier in the year, e.g. March, of meetings of the Comrades the Great War in Leatherhead, at which George Alexander had spoken.


Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry

The Essex Regiment 1914-18

The Influenza Pandemic

the website editor would like to add further information on this casualty
e.g. a photo of him, and of any recollections within his family

last updated 9 Feb 14 CWGC links updated 7 Nov 17: content updated 18 Feb 18