Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The Ivens family hailed from Warwickshire and did not move to Portsmouth until the late 1890s and as Alfred William's father, Henry, had been an agricultural labourer it's not clear why they should have chosen to move to the town. One possible reason is that the marriage register in Portsmouth records Henry Ivens marrying Hannah Elizabeth Bullard at Portsea in 1877, despite neither having any apparent prior connection to the town.
The 1891 census records Henry and Hannah at Harbury in Warwickshire whereas the 1901 census found them at 61 Carnarvon Road, Buckland. With them were four of their seven children, Alice (b. 1884), Charles (b. 1887), Harry (b. 1888) and Alfred William (b. 1895). Ten years later the family were living at 15 Manor Park Avenue in Copnor though only two of the children, Harry and Alfred were still at home. Alfred William was then described as a baker's assistant.
At the outbreak of the Great War Alfred William was 18 years old but he decided not to enlist straight away. He probably did so in April 1915 when the call went out for young men to join the 2nd Portsmouth Battalion, later the 15th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment. Alfred William and the rest of the 15th Battalion landed in France in May 1916, as part of the 41st Division, where they took part in the Battles of the Somme. Alfred William was killed in action in September 1916.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) lists Alfred William Ivens, Lance Corporal (18380), 15th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, died on 14/09/1916, age 21. Buried at Bull's Road Cemetery, Flers, (Grave Ref: II.H.5.). Son of Henry and Hannah E. Ivens, of 15, Manor Park Avenue, Copnor, Portsmouth.
Alfred Ivens is commemorated on the St. Alban's Church WW1 Memorial and on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War', Section X.
Tim Backhouse
February 2015