Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The branch of the Earwicker family to which Alfred Stewart belonged had lived in Portsmouth for at least four generations by the beginning of the Great War, during which three brothers died.
The earliest reference to the family is in the 1841 Census which recorded John (b. 1821) and Charlotte Earwicker sharing a house at 23 Daniel Street, Portsea. John was a joiner by trade and had been born in Portsea. He and Charlotte had been married that same year in Gosport, presumably because that's where Charlotte lived. By 1851 they had four children, John, William, Amos Bowyer and Charlotte. Amos was Frederick Gennyes' father.
After leaving school Amos trained as a printer and bookbinder and in 1861 was still at home with his widowed mother Charlotte which was then at 13 St. Paul's Square. In 1870 Amos married Mary Ann Hansford (b.1844, Isle of Wight) and by census time the following yesr they were living in Southsea Street, Portsea and their first child Mary had arrived. The family does not appear in the 1881 census and by the time the following one came round Amos had died (in 1890).
Mary Ann had moved her family to 109 Grosvenor Street by the 1891 census and was bringing up four sons, Frederick Gennyes (b. 1876), Edwin Westall (b. 1877), Alfred Stewart (b. 1880) and George Henry (b. 1885). Her father Jacob Hansford and three lodgers were also present. By 1901 the family had moved again, this time to 92 Goodwood Road, Southsea. Alfred was 20 years old and was described as a painter and house decorator.
In 1904 Alfred married Rosa Florence Clay (sister of Annie Sarah who married Alfred's brother Frederick) at Droxford and at the 1911 census they were living at 6 Grayshott Road, Southsea with their children Florence Rosa and Doris May. Alfred's mother Mary Ann was also in the household.
At the outbreak of the Great War Alfred was a 34 year old married man and would not necessarily have been expected to enlist in the first wave of volunteers. Whenever he did so he ended up fighting in the Canadian Infantry, but the circumstances by which he did so are unknown. He was killed in September 1917.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Private Alfred Stewart Earwicker, (3/9309), 87th Battalion, Canadian Infantry, died on 27/09/1917, aged 37 years. He is buried in the Villers Station Cemetery, Villers-au-bois, Grave Ref: XII.A.11. Son of Amos Bowyer Earwicker and Mary Ann Earwicker, of Portsmouth; husband of Rosa Florence Earwicker.
Alfred Earwicker is also remembered on the Cenotaph in Portsmouth. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War', Section X.
The articles on brothers Frederick Gennyes and Edwin Westall who also died in the Great War.
Tim Backhouse
February 2014