Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The New family had lived in Portsmouth since before the first census in 1841. They were largely occupied as fishermen and bargemen on the waters of the harbour and the sea. Many of them lived in the Rudmore area.
The 1841 Census records William and Ann New living at Rudmore Place with a large family which included Alfred, the grandfather of William G. In 1871 Alfred and his wife Fanny were living at 29 Kettering Terrace with their three boys, the eldest of which was also called Alfred Thomas and would become William G's father. By 1881 the family had moved to 58 Kettering Terrace.
Alfred Thomas married Charlotte Gladstone in 1887 and the following year they began what was to become a large family, initially living at 62 Twyford Avenue and in 1911 at 49a Twyford Avenue. They had six sons and 4 daughters in total with William G. being the fourth born.
At the outbreak of the Great War William G. was 17 years old and was working for the Portsea Island Gas Light Company. We don't know exactly when he enlisted but when he did so he was assigned to the Bedfordshire Regiment. Again, we don't know if he served abroad but he survived the war and remained with the regiment until he died, possibly of influenza. He was buried in Kingston Cemetery, Portsmouth.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Private William New, (205699), Bedfordshire Regiment, died on 22/06/1919, aged 22 years. He is buried at Kingston Cemetery, Portsmouth, Grave Ref. Jones 6.36. Son of Mr. and Mrs. A. T. New, of 49A, Twyford Avenue, Portsmouth.
William New is remembered on the Portsea Island Gas Light Company WW1 memorial in Guildhall Square, and on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the National Roll. His cousin Thomas New was also killed in the Great War.
Tim Backhouse
February 2014