Worcestershire. 23 April 1917

Alfred Willetts was the son of James and Eliza Willetts of 151 Beecher Street, Cradley, and later of Colley Gate. He attended Cradley C of E School and in 1901 he was an apprentice to an iron moulder. He was a member of the Colley Gate United Methodist chapel, of Two Gates Men's Own and Two Gates Ragged School. He enlisted in the Worcesters in about 1909 and went to India with the 4th Battalion. They were stationed in Burma at the outbreak of war and returned to England in early 1915 en route for the Gallipoli campaign. In the course of the landing on the 25th April or the immediately following action he was wounded in the back when bringing in a wounded soldier and sent to Malta for recovery. He rejoined the battalion and they moved to the Western Front in 1916. They were involved in the first day of the Battle of the Somme at Beaumont Hamel and in the fighting at Guedecourt in October. In April 1917 they came back to the front line for the Battle of Arras. They were in support for the opening phases on the 9th and 14th April but were in the front line on the 23rd for the attack on Infantry Hill, close to Monchy-le-Preux. The hill was a massively defended section of the Hindenburg Line which was captured in spite of strong German counter-attacks which resulted in heavy casualties. Sergeant Alfred Willetts was seriously wounded by fragments of a shell and was bandaged up by one of his chums who had been with him since their days in Burma. He was taken under fire to a trench where he died. As his chum wrote, 'He was one of the bravest men I have ever known, and was liked and respected by every man in the regiment.' He is commemorated on the Arras, Cradley, Halesowen and Cradley C of E School Memorials.

Commemorated at:

Cradley Memorial

Cradley Memorial

Cradley,Dudley,West Midlands,England

View Memorial...

Get involved with our project...

If you have information about Alfred willetts. or any of the Men & Memorials of Dudley we would love to hear from you. Simply fill out our online form with your details and we will get in touch with you to find out more.

Send us your information...