George and William Alexander
DescriptionThomas and Maryann Alexander lived in Brookside Cottages, Barkham Road, Wokingham. They had six children and Maryann had two sons from a previous marriage.
George joined the Army many years before the First World War and served with the Dorset Regiment. At the start of the war the 2nd Batallion Dorsets were stationed in India and after the hostilities commenced the Regiment sailed for Europe, only to be diverted to the Persian Gulf where they arrived in Bahrain on October 23rd 1914. They fought throughout Mesopotamia (in what today is Iraq) for the next few years in very inhospitable conditions.
We do not know the details of George’s death on 23rd July 1916, but the battalion history tells that during July and August 1916 around 150 men were hospitalized for various illnesses and a number died thereof. It is feasible that George succumbed to one of these illnesses. His name is on the Basra Memorial and he has no known grave.
George's younger brother, William worked as a domestic gardener before the war and enlisted in Wokingham into the 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment. The battalion was serving in India when war broke out and returned to Europe in October 1914.
In November 1914 William’s battalion went to France as part of the 8th division. William died in March 1916 whilst the 2nd battalion were serving near Lille. He is buried in Merville communal cemetery. Merville was a railhead and hospital site.
George and William’s two step brothers Thomas and Henry also lost their lives in the war, which must have been a huge loss for the Alexander Family, their mother Maryann in particular.
“George and William Alexander,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed September 23, 2020, https://www.wokingham-tc.gov.uk/museum/document/WTH0389.
DateGeorge d. 23rd July 1916
William d March 1916