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Alefounder of Great Waltham, Essex

Notes on some of those mentioned in the Great Waltham pedigree.

Charles Alefounder, 1797-1822

According to his military service records, born on 6th November 1797. He was baptised at Great Waltham on 19 February 1797: presumably they were still using Old Style dates, with the new year reckoned to start on 25th March.

He joined the West Essex Militia on 7th December 1813, at some point transferring to the 4th Battalion of the 1st Regiment of Foot and later to the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Regiment of Foot. Details are found in TNA ref. WO 25/316, records of British military units that served in Canada. He was 5ft 3in at enlistment, 5ft 10¾in at age 24, with brown hair, hazel eyes. He is recorded as having died at Chatham on 19th September 1822. He was buried at Chatham St Mary on 24th September.

The military record does not say why he died. However, he is mentioned in the Medical Recorder for 1825, quoting the London Medical and Physical Journal:

  Charles Alefounder, 3d Foot, æt. 26; admitted 26th July, 1822, labouring under granular lids with opaque and vascular cornea, attended with puriform discharge and intolerance of light: the latter symptom is very troublesome, and is the only uneasiness he experiences, as he suffers no pain. He states that this complaint commenced last December, with acute pain in both eyes; and that he has been ever since in his regimental hospital, under treatment, where he was bled, cupped, leeched, blistered, had a seton placed in his neck, and used a variety of drops and bluestone.— Instillat. solutio argent. aque ℥j. bis in die, amb. oculis.
  30th.—The drops have agreed very well with the eyes: they feel a little rough and painful after they have been applied, but the eyes are more confortable afterwards. Bowels regular.—Cont. solutio. Half diet.
  August 17th.—Vascularity of eyeballs and lids much abated, as well as the accompanying symptoms.—Cont. solutio. Half diet.
  September 19th.—Discharged; both eyes quite well.

A seton is a piece of cotton, silk or rubber; bluestone is copper sulphate. I translate the final treatment as silver nitrate, 4 grains in an ounce of water (which would give about 49mM), applied twice daily as eye drops. The patient was discharged apparently cured, but died the same day.

James Alefounder 1800-1849

A labourer, joined the 49th Regiment of foot on 18 September 1819. His service record is TNA, reference WO 97/629/119. Initially a Private, he was promoted to Corporal on 25 March 1824, then to Sergeant on 17 April 1827. He served 6 years and 7 months at the Cape of Good Hope and 9 years 8 months in the East Indies. He was discharged at the end of September 1839 after a total of 20 years 14 days. The cause of his discharge was illness: chronic dysentery, which had rendered him "very feeble & extremely emaciated". This was adjudged to have been "contracted in the Service without being attributable to Design, Vice or Intemperance", his character being described as "Extremely Good". At the time of his discharge he was 5' 8¾" tall, with dark hair and eyes and of fair complexion.

He appears in the 1841 census working as a watchman in the Old Gaol and House of Correction at Chelmsford.

John Alefounder 1867-1936

World War I pension records show two periods of service in the Essex Regiment, although the details of only the second appear in this set of documents. His first period of service was with the 1st Essex Regiment, he being discharged on the termination of his period of engagement. On 29 Sep 1914, he re-enlisted at Stratford in the Army Reserve, for one year, giving his address as 4 Plough Lane, Homerton. He was discharged at Warley on 3 Aug 1916 as no longer being physically fit, having actually served for 1 year 310 days. The record of his "Campaigns, Medals and decorations" says: Home 29.9.14 to 3.8.16 and Egyptian 1884-5 & Khedive Star. The latter was presumably for one or more of the operations known as The Nile (Wolseley's expedition to Khartoum to rescue General Gordon), Abu Klea, Kirbekan, Suakin and Tofrek.

John Charles Alefounder 1895-1960

Son of the above, worked as a carman. Joined the 16th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers on 19 Jan 1915, but was discharged on 22 May 1915 on medical grounds, being declared "quite unfit to be a soldier". No more precise details appear in the pension records. He was awarded a gratuity of £15.

Albert Edward Alefounder 1881-1952

Mentioned in the book, Echoes of the Great War: The Diary of the Reverend Andrew Clark, 1914-19 (Clark, 1985), where he is called 'Alix' Alefounder. "Snippets" are available from Google Books, and from these it is clear that he made hurdles – temporary fencing for sheep. He was therefore a vital part of the local economy, there being no other hurdle makers in the vicinity. According to Clark (1985), this fact was used by a certain Mr T. Stoddart in an attempt to have him excused military service in World War I. What he should have done was to use a reason of far more relevance to the military authorities: 'Alix' Alefounder suffered from asthma. It seems that he was eventually classed as unfit on 31 May 1917.

Frederick Thomas Alefounder b. 1884

A baker; joined the merchant navy in 1919, keeping that occupation. His identity certificate, now in Southampton Archives, lists the registered numbers of the ships he served in: 119697 on 2.7.1919 and 30.12.1919, and 124590 on 9.1920. According to the Mariners Mailing List web site, these correspond to Mamari built in 1904, UK (119697) and Remuera, built in 1911, UK (124590). He eventually settled in New Zealand.

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Last updated 5th July 2013 by Peter Alefounder

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