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Alfred was born in Wolverhampton in 1895, the son of Edward and Martha Francis. By 1911, he was with his parents at 5 Chapel Street, Moseley Village, Wolverhampton, along with his brothers, Samuel and Henry. Alfred was a pistol riveter in a factory.

Alfred enlisted as a Gunner in the 295th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery (number 66394). However, he was killed in action in France on 21 March 1918. He is remembered at the Arras Memorial, as well as on that at Heath Park, and on that for Deans Road