Private Alfred James Munt


133387 Private Alfred James Munt, 32 Battalion (Infantry), Machine Gun Corps, enlisted probably in 1916. The Battalion was formed from the Machine Gun Sections of 32 Brigade, 11th (Northern) Division in March 1916 in Egypt, during their defence of the Canal east of Suez. By 3 July 1916 the entire Division had embarked on urgent orders for France to reinforce Third Army on the Somme. On 27 July, with no acclimatisation, they took up front line positions and fought at Flers-Courcelette and Thiepval through to the end of the offensive. In 1917, after the savage winter of 1916-17, they were in action on the Ancre river and then were moved north to Flanders for the battle of Messines, where the objective was to take German positions on relatively high ground which threatened the planned summer advance to Passchendaele village, an offensive also known as ‘Third Ypres'. Alfred died on 7 June 1917, the opening day of the battle of Messines, and was buried in St Hilaire Cemetery, Frevent in the Nord Pas de Calais, west of Arras (ref. F. 16).

He was born in 1899 in Wheatley and was baptised at St. Mary's Church on 14 May, the eldest of five sons of William Munt, labourer also born in Wheatley, in 1870, and Agnes Alice Webb, born in the registration district of Headington in 1874. He is recorded as having attended the school in 1905. In 1911 the family were living in Littleworth. Alfred was the uncle of Thomas Munt, who also lost his life in the war. See also a reference to Alfred in the Wheatley Tribunal chapter.

He had lived at Littleworth, probably what is today No. 4.

Machine Gun Corps
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