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Alfred John Howitt
Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by) : Alfred John Howitt (Mr A Howitt)
Date and Place of Birth: 22nd October 1888, Bow, Middlesex
Date and Place of Death: 1941, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Childhood: Alfred grew up in London areas of Bow & Bethnal Green.
Parents: Arthur & Annie (nee Westell) Howitt
Parent’s occupations: Arthur was a milkman. According to census Arthur’s occupation was also described as a cowman (milk) & milk carrier.
Schools / universities attended and years of attendance: Alfred attended Atley Road School, Bow, London.(later renamed George Lansbury Primary School), his admission date 11th September 1895.
Place of residence at Gretna: N/K
Job title at Gretna: N/K
Marital status: Married Catherine Agnes Chapman on 19th December 1912 at Christ Church, South Hackney, London
Children: 4 known.
Travels: Alfred & Catherine emigrated to Canada
Trivia / any other information:
In 1906, at the age of 17 yrs & 11 months (on enlistment form), Alfred enlisted with the army with the Royal Fusiliers as a Private, however for whatever reason he only lasted a short time, after completing his 5 months drill “under army order granted him a free discharge”. There are no complaints, and he was sited a Good character. On his enlistment forms, Alfred is described as 5 feet 2 inches tall, with fresh complexion, brown eyes & brown hair.
Alfred occupation as he enlisted was a sawyer. Alfred also put on the form that he had 3 brothers that were already in the army.
By 1911, Alfred was living in Hackney with his parents, working as a labourer.
Alfred married Catherine Agnes Chapman on 19th December 1912 at Christ Church, South Hackney.
Alfred’s name was found in an autograph book from H.M. Factory Gretna. His entry is from 15/11/18.
2 address were given in the autograph book at Gretna, one address could be traced of 479 Hackney Road, London E2, where they were living in 1921 (census).
Its a possibility that Alfred worked at Whittingham Military Hospital (2nd address) after Gretna (between 1918 – 1921) but no proof found.
In 1921 the couple & children were living at 479 Hackney Road, Hackney. Alfreds occupation was a sawyer.
Alfred & Catherine emigrated to Canada, on 1931 Voters List Alfreds occupation is a woodworker, and in 1940 on the voters list they are living on Melville Close, Halifax.
Alfred died in 1941, and is in Camp Hill Cemetery, 1600 Summer Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
His wife Catherine, moved to British Columbia, and died in 1985, 88 years.
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