Alfred Ineson 1893-1919


Family Details:

Alfred was born in Howden Clough in 1893 the son of Isaac Midgely Ineson and his wife Ruth (nee Asquith) who came from Batley Carr. They had married at the Wesleyan Chapel, Birstall in November 1873. His siblings were James Swales (1878), William (1886), and Millicent (1889).

In 1891 the family was living at 33, Turner’s Buildings, Howden Clough, moving before 1901 to 54, Leeds Road, Birstall where Isaac says he was a cloth fuller, James Swales was a pupil teacher, William was a cloth cutter whilst Millicent and Alfred were at school.

By 1911 Isaac, Ruth, Millicent and Alfred had moved to a five roomed home at Howley Low Mill. Alfred was an assistant cloth fuller, Millicent was a dress maker and Isaac was a cloth fuller. The couple had lost two of their 6 children during their 37 years of marriage.

At the time of the sinking of the ‘Britannic’ in 1916 the Batley Reporter said his fiancée was Miss Luty of Batley.

After his discharge from the army he married Florence Annie Dawson in 1918 at Stamford, Lincolnshire and she came to live at Ailsa Dell, Benny Parr Woods, Batley. In his will, Alfred left £93.9s.10d to his wife Florence Annie Ineson. His nephew James died in May 1944 as a result of war service in World War 2.

Service Details:

Alfred signed his Attestation papers on 11th January 1915 at York giving his address as Benny Parr Woods, and that he was a cloth fuller. He stated that he was 21 years old, and 5 feet 6 inches tall. His records show that he was serving on home shores from 11th January to the 13th May 1915,  but during that time on the 27th April he had passed his Nursing Class for the R.A.M.C.

He joined the British Expeditionary Force on the 14th May 1915 and was wounded in action on the 20th July 1916 but this could not have been serious because he was sent home on the 24th July for 61 days, joining His Majesty’s Hospital Ship ‘Brittanic’ on 24th September 1916. However he did spend from 24th July until 2nd August being treated for slight injuries to the head and chest at the Lord Derby War Hospital, Warrington.

On the 8th December 1916, The Batley Reporter stated:-

“We are delighted to learn that two local men who were aboard the ill-fated hospital ship ‘Britannic’ Pte Alfred Ineson, RAMC, son of Mr. & Mrs. Isaac Ineson of ‘Ailsa Dell’, Benny Parr Wood, Batley and Pte Clifford Kitchen, of Park Lane, Horbury, a native of Batley and a grandson of Mr. & Mrs. Beaumont Kitchen of the Poplars, Purlwell Lane, Batley, are amongst those saved.”

Private B. Holmes of Ravensthorpe who was also serving on a hospital ship wrote to St. Saviour’s School:-

“Just a few lines to let you know I have received your parcel, quite safe and in good condition. I don’t know how I can thank you and the boys for your kindness to me. It came in very useful because we can’t cut things whilst we are at sea, but we make up for it when we get into port, and we then enjoy ourselves. Well I suppose things will be quite different at Ravensthorpe now that all the men have gone to the Front and are doing their share towards the big fight. I enjoy life on the ship very well, and it is quite a change from hospital life in England, of which I had a good experience. I like the work on to the am X ray operator and see some sights. I should like some of the boys to see this apparatus at work. It is one of the most remarkable things in our hospitals today. When they bring in a patient who has a bullet or piece of metal or any bones broken you can see them in a minute with these X-rays. Patients are thus saved a lot of pain. I have patients here straight from the firing lines.”

Alfred joined the H.S. Britannic on 24th September 1916 but whilst she was sailing in the Aegean Sea in the Kea Channel on the morning of Tuesday, 21st November 1916 she was shaken by an explosion, caused by an underwater mine, U-73 laid by Lt. Cdr Siehs, and sank 55 minutes later at 9.07 a.m., killing 30 people.

The ship lowered all the 35 boats. Thirty to forty of the crew were injured. Nurses in common with the officers and men of the R.A.M.C. lined up on deck and there was no panic. The women behaved coolly. One of the stewardesses, Violet Jessop, was on board the ill fated Titanic and also had been on board the Olympic during her collision with HMS Hawke. In describing the present disaster she said two loaded boats were sucked towards the sinking vessel as she keeled over with her screw whirling in the air, and these were smashed like matchwood. Many people were killed outright and others received horrible wounds. There were 1,066 people on board. The ‘Britannic’ was going to Mudros (the port of Lemnos) to take on sick and wounded for whom she was fitted up to take 3,000 . She was 900 feet in length with a gross tonnage of 48,158. She was the world’s largest British built vessel at the time costing one and a half million pounds sterling.

Alfred was slightly injured with nerve shock. His fiancée Miss Luty, Upper Commercial Street, Batley received a letter from him:-

“Just a few lines to let you know I am alright,  for I suppose you will have heard that the ‘Britannic’ has gone down. I think, along with many others, that she was torpedoed but some say it was a mine. Anyhow she is no more, but I am all right and there is no need to worry at all. There is nothing to write about and I will tell you all when I see you. We are being well looked after on board this French battleship.”

HMS Britannic was the third and largest Olympic class of the White Star Line. She was the sister ship of RMS Olympic and RMS Titanic, and was intended to enter service as the transatlantic passenger liner, RMS Britannic
She was launched just before the start of the First World War after being redesigned after the ‘Titanic’ sank and was laid up at her builders in Belfast for many months before being put to use as a hospital ship in 1915.
Alfred was in Malta from the 30th November until 14th December when he was posted home. He was discharged as no longer physically fit for active service on 28th March 1917 due to mitral regurgitation having served 2 years and 77 days. His military character was described as honest, sober, reliable, and trustworthy and trained in first aid and ambulance service. His medical records says he had rheumatism in the Spring of 1914 and doctors said his heart had been affected, he had never been well since and had breathlessness and pains in the chest.
After his discharge he worked at J.T. & J.Taylor’s as a wagon driver.

In 1918 he married Florence Annie Dawson near Stamford, Lincolnshire and they lived at Ailsa Dell, Benny Parr Wood, and Batley.


Alfred died on 7th January 1919, at home, and was interred at Batley Cemetery (F 283) on Saturday 11th January at 2 o’clock. He was given full military honours. The Rev. W. Molineux officiated, the coffin was draped with a Union Jack, and a guard of honour was formed by wounded soldiers. Amongst those present at the funeral were Mr. T. W. Fox (president), Mr. J. Almond (acting superintendent) and members of the local St. John Ambulance Brigade as well as Rechabites from Birstall, and employees from J.T.and J.Taylor Ltd.




Alfred was awarded British War Medal 1914-20, and the Victory Medal.

He is remembered with Honour on Batley Parish Church, Batley War Memorial and the family grave at Batley Cemetery.


Researched by

Members of Batley History Group