Alfred Jesse Boxall (1899-1918) - Pte T/205981 6th Bn The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment). Alfred Jesse Boxallwas born 16thSeptember 1899 and may well have enlisted whilst he was still ‘under age’ as he would have not reached the age of 18 until September 1917. One of at least five Boxall brothers that served, Alfred joined the 1stBattalion of The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) but was transferred to the 6thand was soon on active service in France where the battalion had been since May 1915.In 1917 the 6thwere in action at Arras in the First Battle of the Scarpe, the Battle of Arleux and the Third Battle of the Scarpe. They remained in the Arras sector until the 30thOctober when they moved to Hesdin for the Cambrai offensive in which the Division suffered heavy losses. In March 1918 they moved by motor lorry from Busnes to Albert and were in action in the Battle of Bapaume and then spent the spring engaged in heavy fighting as the enemy advanced across the old Somme battlefields. On the 1stJuly 1918, they attacked Bouzincourt but were repelled by the enemy and this is where Alfred lost his life, two months short of his 19th birthday.
Alfred’s Commonwealth War Graves record gives his date of death as 30thJune but the War Diary records the action at Bouzincourt as taking place across the 30th June-2nd July and records 28 Other Ranks killed and 8 missing for this period.Alfred has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial on the Somme and on Itchingfield War Memorial.He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals for his service.