Alfred CREES
Rank: Sapper
Number: Deal 946 (S)
Unit: Royal Marine Engineers
Date of Death: 20 February 1915
Age: 24
Cemetery: Willow Grove Cemetery, Stockport

Alfred was born in the Heaton Norris area in about 1891, the son of Lucy Crees. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records her as Mrs Crees but it has not been possible to establish that she had been married. She is recorded on the 1910 Census as being single. At that time, she and Alfred were listed as boarders at 9 Derby Range, Heaton Moor.

He worked for Marples & Sons, a local firm of furniture removers with premises on Shaw Road, Heaton Moor, In his spare time, he was an active member of Heaton Moor Working Mens’ Club and was a member of its Committee. He had enlisted into the army in the autumn of 1914, first joining the Royal Engineers. Shortly after, he was transferred to the engineers attached to the Royal Marine Light Infantry and was still in training at Blandford when he was killed in an accident.

The local press reported that he had gone into Blandford for a Saturday night out with friends. “On the way he was given a lift in a motor ambulance which was going in the same direction and as there was not room on the seat, he and a friend stood on the foot board. Unfortunately, a few minutes later they met a horseman who was riding on the wrong side of the road. The man tried to cross the road and the ambulance driver turned at the same time. A collision occurred and Sapper Crees was thrown to the ground. He was badly hurt and was at once carried to hospital but only lived for half an hour.”

Alfred’s body was brought back to Stockport for a service, on 25 February, at St Paul’s Church where he and his mother had worshipped. A party of 13 men from the Cheshire Regiment then escorted the coffin to Willow Grove Cemetery where Alfred was buried with full military honours. The coffin was covered by a Union Jack and a bugler sounded the “Last Post”, but there was no firing party.

After the War, Lucy Crees was living at 13 Portland Grove, Heaton Moor.

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