Earlestown War Memorial
The Great War Roll of Honour
Very few details were published in the "Newton and Earlestown Guardian" regarding the death of CSM Alexander Alldridge. This is surprising for an NCO who had been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. The only personal detail given is that he was an old scholar of the Earlestown District School.
CSM Alldridge, who was killed during the Battles of the Somme, while attacking the village of Ovillers, is buried in Bapaume Post Military Cemetery, which is about two kilometres north-east of Albert and south-west of ‘Usna Hill’. Captain H. Whalley-Kelly, in his book, "Ich Dien" gives an account of the action in which CSM Alldridge died.
There are a number of references to CSM Alldridge in the local newspaper, including this letter published on 16th April 1915:-
Just a word or two to say I am still in the best of health, hoping the whole of the picnic club are the same. At present we are in billets, resting after our short tour along with “friends”, the Germans, and we are doing our best to make ourselves very comfortable under these circumstances. Last night our company were digging trenches, and the work was done in record time, for when a soldier goes out on work of this kind he realises that by doing the work he is probably saving twenty or thirty lives. They set about their task about 8 p.m., and at 10-30 p.m. were on the way home to enjoy the night’s rest, with a cigarette and a warm drink of tea after their hard work of two and a quarter hours under rifle fire. The company had no casualties, so we were very lucky.
Today we hold a small athletic tournament between platoons, and the afternoon will be devoted to this sport. The events are:- 100 yards flat race; long jump; high jump; putting the shot; quarter mile flat race - six competitors to each platoon in each event. Football match for company championship: 13th Platoon v 16th Platoon (Capt. of former, Coy. S.-M. Alldridge; capt. of latter Corpl. Knowles). I will give full details of the events next time I write.
We proceed to the trenches on Thursday night. I think we shall have a very good time, for a lot of my battalion call my company “the happy-go-lucky brigade”. They have cause for it, for no matter how rough they get it, a joke is always ready at hand, especially when in the trenches.
Coy, Sergt. Major Alldridge.”