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EWINS, Alfred Arthur (1887-1914) – Private, Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

Private Alfred Arthur Ewins was born and baptized in Badsey but is not listed on the Badsey War Memorial.  His name is recorded, though, on the memorial Bengeworth Church and in Abbey Park, Evesham.

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Alfred Ewins was born at Badsey in 1887, the second of seven children and eldest son of William and Elizabeth Ewins (née Jinks).  His mother, Elizabeth Jinks, had been working as a servant at Totterdown, The Parks, Aldington, at the time of the 1881 census, along with her younger brother, Alfred.  Elizabeth married William Ewins in Evesham in 1883.  Their first child, Rose, was born in Bromsgrove, but they were living in Badsey when Alfred was born in 1887.  He was baptized at St James’ Church, Badsey, on 20th February 1887.

The family moved away from Badsey soon after Alfred’s birth as the following five children were all born in different places.  In 1891, they were living at 13 Ernest Road, West Ham, William working as a butcher.  However, Rose, the eldest child, remained living in Badsey during the 1890s as she was a pupil at Badsey School from 1892-1900.  It is likely that she lived with her grandparents, William and Jane Jinks, who had moved to Badsey some time in the 1880s and settled on Green Road (the present-day blacksmith’s, 4 Chapel Street).

On 25th January 1905, 18-year-old Alfred, described as residing in Forrest Gate, London, but employed as a Counter Assistant for Mr Lovett, Salisbury, Wiltshire, enlisted at Devizes with the 3rd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment (Duke of Edinburgh’s).  He was transferred to the Oxfordshire Light Infantry soon afterwards on 20th March 1905; he had signed up for six years.   At the time of the 1911 census, he was serving with the 1st Battalion Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

On the outbreak of war, Private Ewins (No 7890) went to France with the 2nd Battalion on 14th August 1914.  He was killed in action on 1st November 1914 during the first battle of Ypres (death presumed on that date) in Flanders.  His name is recorded on the Menin Gate, Ypres.

The Ewins family had moved back to Evesham by the time of his death, as Alfred’s place of residence was given as Bengeworth.  With regard to his effects, £6 15s 3d was paid to his father, William on 1st June 1916; £4 6s 8d to his mother, Elizabeth, on 13th September 1919 and 13s 4d to his older sister, Rosa Elizabeth Twose, on 13th October 1925.

William Ewins probably died in the Winchcombe area in 1917.  He was certainly dead by 1919 when Elizabeth Ewins was paid effects.  According to the Commonwealth War Graves site, Alfred was the “son of Mrs E Ewins of 3 Castle Street, Bengeworth and late Mr W Ewins”.

Alfred has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate.  His name also appears on the memorial in Bengeworth Church and in Abbey Park, Evesham.

Alfred’s grieving mother remained in Evesham for the rest of her life.  At the age of 74, Elizabeth married for a second time to Alfred E Renowden, in 1932 in Evesham.  Alfred died in 1938 and Elizabeth died at 4 Coronation Street, Evesham, on 6th October 1944.