Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

In the 1901 census Alfred and his brother Sidney were recorded living with their mother Mary Nixon who described herself as single which has made it impossible to identify their father from online sources alone. Mary was then working as a housekeeper to Sidney Thompson at 61 Albion Street, Mile End and the two children were five anf three years old respectively. Four years later she married Richard Phillips, a fisherman's labourer.
The 1911 census found Richard and Mary at 58 Kettering Terrace on Commercial Road. Also in the household were Alfred, Sidney and two more boys described as step-sons to Richard ie sons of Mary. They were Walter and George, born in 1902 and 1903. In addition, Richard and Mary had two children of their own, Richard jnr. and Harriett.
At the outbreak of the Great War Alfred Nixon was 18 years old and therefore eligible to enlist. He did so in November 1914, probably as a result of the recruitement drive for the first of the Portsmouth Battalions which later became the 14th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. The following March Alfred was drafted to France where he took part in numerous engagements. In March 1916 the 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment arrived in France from Gallipoli where it had suffered heavy losses and Alfred was then probably transferred to them to help make up numbers. He was killed in action in November 1917.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Alfred Nixon, Private (14356), 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, died 30/11/1917. Remembered on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval (Panel 7.). Son of Mrs. Mary Phillips, of 58, Kettering Terrace, Mile End, Portsmouth.
Alfred Nixon is also remembered on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square. He is listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War' Section X, p167.
Tim Backhouse
March 2015