Alfred Tasker

Alfred Tasker
Born at Fenstanton in 1892, Alfred was one of nine children delivered to Arthur, a cattle farm hand, and Jemima (née Mason). In 1901 the family lived in Houghton Road, St Ives. They had moved to 3 West Street, St Ives by 1911, Alfred employed as a tin smith's apprentice.

Details of Alfred's military service are sketchy. He enlisted with the 1st/1st Bucks Battalion, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, possibly after first joining the Hunts Cyclists. An A Tasker was enrolled by 4 June 1915.

The conflict Alfred died in was a part of the Somme offensive known as the Battle of Pozieres Ridge, started on 23 July 1916. In attempting to capture the highest ground on the Somme battlefield, British forces managed to advance just one mile in forty days of fierce fighting, incurring 31,000 British and Allied casualties.

Battle of Pozieres Ridge
The devastation of battle at Pozieres Ridge
It's difficult to know in what part of the battle Alfred was killed. Initially posted as missing, he was subsequently assumed killed in action 'on or since 23 August 1916, death presumed', aged 23yrs. He has no known grave and is commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

An A Tasker was reported missing in the Hunts Post on 29 September 1916. It is quite possible this referred to Alfred. News of missing soldiers was slow to reach relatives. They were often left in an agony of uncertainty for months before the authorities decided to presume death.

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Source materials
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