Albert Boxall (1891-?)

Albert Boxall was the seventh or eighth of nine children: one sibling died in infancy and it’s not been possible to establish whether they were older or younger. His parents, Alfred Boxall and Sarah Budgen, married in the Brighton registration district early in 1877 or late in 1876. The first child, Alfred Anthony was born in early 1877 in Brighton. By the 1881 census the family had moved to Cowfold, Sussex, and a second child, Ellen Blanche was born around the same time. Alfred senior was then 26 (born Leigh, Surrey) and working as a coachman. Sarah was 24 (born Portsmouth, Hampshire).

Another move followed soon after, to East Molesey, Surrey. Another son, Walter, was born in 1882. Three more sisters followed, Eliza Mary in 1884, Rose Alice in 1887 and Florence Emily in December 1890. At the 1891 census the family were living at Bell Road, East Molesey. Alfred senior is now listed as a gardener domestic. Albert himself was born later in 1891, around 7 December judging by the report of a peal on that date in 1912 which was rung to mark his birthday. There is a long gap to the final child, Lilian, who was born in 1898 – perhaps this suggests the child who died in infancy was born in this gap.

By 1901 the family had moved to Wallington and were living in a cottage belonging to the Old Manor House, though Walter had married and was living in Hampshire, while Ellen was working as a live-in cook elsewhere in Wallington. Alfred senior was still working as a gardener. It’s not clear if Alfred had been a ringer before this final move, or if it was only after he arrived in Wallington that he learnt. Albert seems to have followed in his footsteps however. By the 1911 census the family are shown at 2 Manor Road (this may well be the same house as in 1901), with Alfred still a gardener. Albert (now 19) had become a fishmonger.

It is from late 1912 and onwards that the principal evidence of Albert’s ringing comes, peals in November and December, and a few more pieces of ringing in 1913 and 1914. There are a few possible reports later on, but they simply list A Boxall, whereas earlier reports are clear as to whether it is father or son that’s intended.

According to the original roll of honour, he served in the Suffolk Regiment, but I have been unable to find any corroborating evidence. There is no medal index card for any A Boxall with overseas service in the Suffolk Regiment, and there too many others to choose from to make a definite identification.

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