Alfred Snead was born on the 13th February 1918 and was baptised on the 20th March 1918, the son of Alfred & Eleanor Snead (nee Jones), Ratcilffe Row, Pentre, Ironworker in St. Francis’s Parish, Sandycroft, Flintshire.
His parents, Alfred & Eleanor were married in St. Deniol’s Church, Hawarden on the 5th August 1899:-
SNEAD, 28 Bachelor Iron Worker , Pentre, Saltney, John SNEAD (dec) Iron Worker & Eleanor JONES, 17, Spinster, Pentre, Saltney, Llewelyn JONES, Shoemaker. (After Banns)Witnesses:- Edward MILLINGTON & Annie MILLINGTON.
They are seen on the 1901 census living at Dee Terrace, Pentre, Hawarden, Flintshire. Alfred, 34, is head of the household, an Iron & Steel worker born in St. Georges, Wellington, Salop. His wife Eleanor, 20, was born in Buckley, Flintshire. Their daughter Nellie, age 3 months had been born in Pentre, Hawarden, while Alfred’s brother Cecil Snead, 24, single and an Iron & Steelworker, tells us he had been born in Wrockwardine Wood, Shropshire, made up the household.
The 1911 census was the first one where the householder filled in the Census form and signed it, and it is interesting to note that Eleanor’s father Llewelyn, entered Eleanor’s name as if she was single, so I think that he had to list all his children, even the ones that weren’t there. Even so he had Eleanor as “Single.” The aim of the census was to register everyone in the household that night, unless of course Eleanor was visiting and she was entered on Alfred’s census. This has happened before on census forms through the years, to be on two census forms.
On the 1911 census, the Snead family were now living at 8, Ratcliffe Row, Pentre, Nr. Hawarden, (6 rooms). Alfred, 42, a Labourer in the Ironworks tells us he had been married 11 years, Eleanor, 29, born Buckley, tells us that 6 children had been born, sadly 1 had died+. Their children , Nellie, 10, Doris, 9, Lucy Lilian*, 5 where at school, with Sarah, 3 and Mabel Irene#, 1 making up the household.
+ St. Deniol’s Church, Hawarden – Burials – Mabel d/o of Alfred & Helena (sic) SNEAD, Shotton, 13th February 1907 age 3 years.
#Mabel Irene was named after the daughter they lost in 1907.
The Snead family were to suffer another loss in 1927 when their eldest daughter, Nellie, was to die in Meadowslea Hospital, Pennyffordd and was buried on the 1st December 1927, age 27 years.
The 1939 National Register, which was taken on the 29th September 1939, gives us another picture of the family and young Alfred in particular, this source also gives us the dates of birth. Alfred senior’s date of birth was the 11th March 1869 and he was a Builder’s labourer., Eleanor’s date of birth was the 24th December 1881 and as most women who didn’t have a job, were described as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties,” while young Alfred’s date of birth confirms what was stated above and he was single and a Steel Worker, Labourer. There is one closed or redacted entry, but I don’t know who this would be.
So we know that young Alfred was at home on the 29th September 1939, although the war had been declared on the 3rd September.
Alfred’s mother died in 1941, her burial at Hawarden was on the 3rd November, she was 59 years old.
The Royal Welsh Fusiliers Enlistment Registers tell us that he enlisted on the 8th January 1942 and he was transferred on the 18th June 1944 to the South Lancashire Regt., and killed in Action on the 24th June 1944 – 6 days later. His Documents re the transfer were sent to Preston on the 21st July 1944.
Casualty List (Page 10) Lists Alfred as having been in the R.W.F. (Fusilier), this was altered to “8. Lancs. Regt. 1/BN C.L. 1521/38.”
The Casualty List (Page 38) Corrections, tells us that the Unit and Rank for Alfred (R.W.F.) should read 1/S Lan. R. – Pte.
The CWGC Graves Concentration Report Form tells us that Alfred was one of 4 who died on the 24th June 1944 and who are entered on that report, but also tells us that all the men who are the Form were all buried initially at CAEN, France (Sh.7F/1 1/50,000 MR 037753), probably, I believe, on the day they died, and then reburied in the La Delivrande British Cemetery on the 29th May 1945.
I was contacted by Jeff Fellows, who is related to both Alfred and Patrick Hughes, he was able to help us find out what happened on that fateful day for Alfred:-
Extract from the Regimental History, sent to me by Jeff FELLOWS, Ancestry, connected to Patrick HUGHES:-
“Parents Alfred and Eleanor Snead (My great grandparents) and also related to Patrick Hughes.”
“On the evening of the 21st June, the battalion returned to the Le Landel area and the same night several strong patrols were sent out to reconnoitre the enemy positions about Le Lande. This they did to a very good purpose, a platoon commanded by Lieutenant W. Lacy establishing itself well forward in the outskirts of the enemy positions at La Lande although attempts to move further forward were met by Heavy machine Gun fire.
The firm forward footing having been established, it was determined to exploit forwards with a silent attack by the battalion the following night, with ‘B’ company right ‘C’ company left, ‘A’ company following up ‘C’ and ‘D’ in reserve at Le Landel.
The attack began at 23:30 hours on the 22nd June and achieved some initial success, ‘B’ company securing its objectives on the southern edge of the chateau area without much difficulty, establishing itself in the south west corner of the chateaux grounds. ‘C’ Company, however ran into severe enemy machine gun fire which caused some disorganisation in the darkness and pinned the company down. ‘A’ company was then sent up to strengthen ‘B’, the intention being that these two companies should then swing left-handed across the position and thus clear the remaining opposition. ‘A’ Company were established in the forward area just as dawn was breaking, but before the two companies could advance to carry out the plan allotted to them they were subjected to sudden and very heavy mortar fire which was the prelude to a vigorous enemy counter-attack with tanks and infantry and screened by smoke on either flank.
This counter-attack drove into and overran ‘B’ Company’s position and forced the company to fall back to le Landel. This left ‘A’ Company in a rather precarious position in a corner of La Lande, where it was constantly subjected to heavy shelling and mortar fire, and it was during this period that the company commander, Captain C.H.M Greener, was wounded. But ‘A’ company held on and the position it had gained proved invaluable as a firm base for future operations. These were not immediately possible and by the evening of the 25th the whole battalion was back at Le Landel.
The South Lanc’s suffered 6 casualties on the 24th June, five of whom are buried at LA DELIVRANDE WAR CEMETERY, DOUVRES, One of the five fatal causalities was Alfred SNEAD.” – Many thanks to Jeff.
Alfred Senior was to die in 1947, his burial at Hawarden was on the 5th February 1947, he was 77 years old. He had so suffered so much grief, losing 3 children and his wife Eleanor.
Alfred was missed and loved by his family and his name was put forward to be remembered on the Hawarden WW2 War Memorial.