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In 1916 he was called to the army, and as his wife could do the barbering his

family remained at camp, and he was sent to the 6th Dorset regiment at Weymouth. He

shortly joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and then he was sent to the

war, almost at once they were rushed up to the front. They had slosh for miles through

mud and slime, and slide into the trench they had to fight from. The trench was full of

liquid mud, they were always wet to their waist. They were supposed to stay there 24

hours, but the Australians who were to release them, being novices in the war came up

the line making so much noise that the Germans heard the noise and began shelling the

place. The Australians could not then go up, and Alfred and the rest had to stay in the

wet for another 24 hours. When the regiment moved Alfred found that his feet were bad,

and he could not keep up with the rest, so he crawled on, falling in shell holes because he

could not tell them from level ground because of the mud. He managed to make his way

to a dugout where they were giving hot cocoa to the troops as they passed. He went in

and on making the remark that he would take off his boots, was warned not to, as his feet

would swell and he would not be able to put them back on again. He went on his way

again, he was sitting on a heap of stones by the side of the road when an old farmer

passed, thinking he might at least get a little sympathy he passed a coke to the man who

agreed it was a fine day and went on, and Alfred was once again very lonely. Fortunately

an Australian passed that way, and put him on his horse and took him the rest of the way,

where he was greeted with cheers as the men felt sure he had been killed. It was found

he was suffering from trench feet caused from the wet, he was ill for about three months.

After that he was made cook for his company, but he rarely had anything to cook, as the

rations found a difficulty to get to them, the men would steal chicken, pigs and anything

they could find to get a meal. One day he made soup from bones he had, but he had no

salt for a few days, and the soup was anything but a success. The officers got to know of

him being a barber, and he would cut their hair. This would give him more freedom than

the others because when he wanted to get away he tucked his barber kit under his arm

and went, the sentries would think he was going to cut an officers hair.

In the dreadful retreat of Mons, the men were commanded to leave everything

behind and run, one officer seeing the barber kit bag lying around command one soldier

to carry it, so Alfred’s stuff was saved.

During a retreat Alfred had been up the line with something for the troops with

his donkey “Georgy.” When he had to pass through a little town which seemed deserted,

he was interested and loitering about looking around, and taking his time, when he locked

up the street and saw a regiment of Germans marching around the corner. It did not take

him long to get away, it must have surprised Georgy the peace he had to go.

Georgy had been the battalion’s bad mule, no one could do a thing with him

without a great stick. When he was allotted to Alfred the troops were amused and looked

for trouble, but he went quietly to the mule, talked gently to her, meanwhile watching for

her feet as she would kick. He treated her like this for a few days, and then one day when

Alfred went back for his helmet, Georgy followed him like a dog, much to the surprise of

every body. (Georgy, by the way was a lady).

When the war was over, lots were cast as to which regiment would ride in the

only train, and which would walk. His regiment had to walk, but they did not mind as

they were going home. Alfred got so excited on the road, that he broke ranks and

pretended to warm his hands on a girl’s red hair, then jumped back into his place, it

caused a big laugh, and no reprimand.