Alfred Edward Ireland was born on 1 January 1887, the son of Charles Richard and Sarah Ann Ireland. In 1901, the family were at 1c Brunswick Street, together with Alfred’s brother Albert Andrew and John Thomas, and his sisters Ada Florence, Elsie Maude and Gerty May. At the age of 14, he was a cycle trade turner. In 1909 he married Elsie Gertrude Meredith, and they had at least one child, Alfred, born in 1912. He got a job as a charge hand at the Sunbeam Works.
As early as 10 August 1914, he enlisted in one of the Mechanical Transport Companies of the Army Service Corps (number CMT/2199). This meant that he was able to use his technical skills at the front, and by 1918 was in charge of a repair shop employing 80 artificers. He became one of the youngest soldiers to receive the meritorious medal for distinguished conduct in the field, and was also awarded the Military Medal. By this date his family were living in Raby Street, and the story of his distinguished achievements was featured in the Express & Star.
The couple had a further child, Audrey, in 1928. Alfred died in 1971 at the age of 84.