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Alfred Howell

Date of birth: 28.6.1914
Date of death: 22.4.1944
Area: Wakefield
Regiment: Royal Artillery
Family information: Son of Henry Howell of Belle Vue, Wakefield
Rank: Gunner
Service number: 4757668

Alfred was born on 28th June 1914. He was the fourth child of eight (4 boys and 4 girls) in the family of Henry and Elizabeth Howell of Crofton. He was usually known at home as “Alf”.
He liked to play cricket and was a member of Crofton Cricket Club, where he played with his Uncle Bill. He was a colliery wagon weighman at Nostell Pit.
He enlisted at Kirkham, Preston on 15th August 1940 for the duration of the war. Alfred was five feet eleven inches tall, with fair hair and complexion, and grey / green eyes.
He served in the Western Desert of North Africa and in Italy. During the Battle for Montecassino on 22nd April 1944, when Alfred was two months short of this thirtieth birthday, he as blown up while driving a lorry and killed. He is buried at the Commonwealth War Cemetery at Montecassino. Two of Alf’s sisters, Lydia and Lillian, visited his grave. Alf’s nephew Jeff and Jeff’s wife Brenda visited on Good Friday, 1st April 1994.
Amongst his families treasured possessions are his Soldier’s Service and Pay Book and his letter to his brother George and his family, which was written on the day before he died. George named his youngest son after Alfred.
A Crofton resident who remembered Alf described him as “a jolly real good sort”.
The Memorial Service, taken by the Rector of Crofton Rev Frederick B Brass included the following words:
“We all remember Alf Howell, as a choirman and bell ringer, as a keen athlete, as a lad who radiated cheerfulness and happy good fellowship wherever he might happen to be… And so we pay our tribute to a gallant and happy lad, who was never ashamed to be a Christian and an Churchman”.

Rows of white gravestones with plants in front of them between areas of mown grass. The mountain of Monte Cassino is prominent in the background Cassino War Cemetery

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