September 28th, 2016

Enthralling exhibition of artefacts owned by Bromsgrove sailor who died in WWI aged 15

Updated: 1:08 am, May 27, 2016

AN ENTHRALLING exhibition of artefacts belonging to a Bromsgrove bugler who was killed during the First World War will go on show on bank holiday Monday (May 30).

The collection will be on display at the Worcester Guildhall from 11am to 3pm as part of an event organised by Remember the Fallen, the Worcester Sea Cadets and the Western Front Association to commemorate the Battle of Jutland.

The conflict, which saw British and German naval fleets clash in the North Sea, near Denmark, was the biggest sea battle of the First World War.

Alfred Eves lived in Lickey End and is remembered on the Bromsgrove War Memorial in the town’s All Saint’s Church and on a memorial at Lickey End School.

When he was just 14 Alfred joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry and when he was 15 he became a bugler on the HMS Queen Mary.

He died when the battlecruiser sank on May 31, 1916 which means this Tuesday will be the centenary of Alfred Eve’s death.

Among the items from Alfred’s time in the Navy that will be shown are his letters home, the death plaque which was sent to the families of the fallen, medals, photographs and an ornate ‘HMS Queen Mary’ pin cushion he would have made during his time at sea.

There was also his Princess Mary Christmas tin, which contained tobacco and cigarettes – both those items are still intact and unopened. There was also a hollow ‘Princess Mary bullet’ where the servicemen and women kept their pencils.

The young sailor’s nephew who is also named Alfred Eves after his uncle will be the person displaying the items on the day.

He said: “My grandfather was entrusted with the items then when he died, my dad had them and then he passed them to me.”

He added not many people had seen the collection of artefacts which give a unique insight into what life was like on the frontline in the First World War.

Alfred’s wife Pam said: “It’s his letters that get me – the things he writes about make them so human and personal.”

Back when young Alfred was serving, joining the Navy was somewhat of a family tradition. His father Sgt Mjr Albert Eves was also in the Royal Marine Light Infantry. He left the Royal Navy in 1912 and worked at the Austin before being recalled to duty in 1914 following the outbreak of war.

The free event on Monday will also feature a short midday ceremony to remember the fallen when the Last Post will be played before a minute’s silence is ended by the playing of the Reveille.

Remember the Fallen is keen to hear from anyone who may have information relating to a casualty of the battle.

Those with any details can e-mail Sandra Taylor at tommy@rememberthefallen.co.uk

Visit the story at www.bromsgrovestandard.co.uk for more pictures of Alfred’s artefacts.

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