image from 1917 Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury newspaper
Born: 1881, Ipswich.
Died: 17th February 1917; age 36; KiA.
Employed: as a Postman.
Enlistment Location: Ipswich.
Rank: Private; Service Number: 50225
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 8th Battalion.
Formerly 34962, Suffolk Regiment.
Medals Awarded: Victory & British War.
1891 Glebe Cottage, Rectory Road, Ipswich.
Alfred was 9 years old and living with his widowed father & siblings.
James Alexander Trench, 50, an Engine Fitter, born Derby, Derbyshire.
Charles Hodges Trench, 19, an Engine Fitter, born Enfield Lock, Middlesex.
Talitha Trench, 15, born Enfield Lock.
Sidney John Trench, 13, born Ipswich.
Elizabeth Julia Trench, 11, born Ipswich.
Alice Emily Trench, 7, born Ipswich.
Jessie Ethel Trench, 4, born Ipswich.
1901 47, Fritzroy Street, Ipswich.
Alfred was 19 years old, a Grocer’s Assistant. He was living with his sister 25 year old Talitha & her husband Frederick James Minns & their 1 month old son Frederick Minns.
1911 2, Dorkin Street, Ipswich.
Alfred was 29 years old, a Grocer – employer. He was married & Head of the Household.
Maude, 28, Assisting in the business.
In 1904, Manningtree, Essex, Alfred married Blanche Maud Taylor, born September 1881, Manningtree, Essex.
They had 4 children:
Herbert Alfred Trench, December 1905, Ipswich.
Stanley Clifford Trench, 1909, Ipswich.
Ida M. Trench, 1912, Ipswich.
Kathleen N. Trench, 1915, Ipswich.
Alfred’s mother was Elizabeth Trench (nee Hickford), born 1846, Little Brickhill, Buckinghamshire – died 1889, Ipswich. Alfred’s father James Alexander Trench died 1911, Ipswich.
Alfred is also remembered on the war memorial at the Royal Mail Centre, Commercial Road, Ipswich.
17th February the 8th Battalion: extracts from Suffolk Regiment records:
“On the 17th the advance towards Miraumont began,8th battalion 05:45 am under very trying weather conditions, severe frost which lasted for a month suddenly breaking on the eve of the battle and rapid thaw converting the ground into a morass of the worst description. very few duckboard tracks existed there at the time, and the nearest hut being over two miles from the front line, the carrying parties had a most difficult task. The process of forming up for attack had to be carried out at night in a thick mist and under a hostile barrage as well-zero hour having become known to the enemy. The battalion gained its objectives quickly in spite of stubborn fighting in the front of the uncut wire, and the leading waves succeeded in establishing themselves within a few hundred yards of Petit Miraumont. The work of consolidation was rendered less difficult by the mist, which prevented enemy observation and permitted freer movement across the open than normally possible.
In the action, which reflected the greatest credit on all ranks of the 8th Battalion, one incident stands out conspicuously. Seeing his company held up by the wire, L/Cpl. W. Savage with seven men having discovered a small gap therein, rushed fearlessly through into the enemy’s trench, killing with his own hands the first four Germans he met and effecting the surrender of the rest of the party, which consisted of fourteen men with a machine gun L/Cpl. Savage received the DCM. The casualties in the Battalion amounted to 130 men. This victory marked the beginning of the retreat to the Hindenburg line.”
Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927 by Lt-Col. C.C.R.Murphy
Suffolk Regiment, 8th Battalion