Private Alfred Hector Prior


This North Irish Horseman was probably the Alfred Hector Prior born on 27 November 1888 at Deptford, London, one of twelve children of tramway manager Thomas Prior and his wife Emily. He grew up at Hoopwick Street, Deptford, but by the time of the 1911 Census was living at 'Haldon', Station Road, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, with his parents and three of his nine surviving siblings, and working as a commercial clerk to a timber merchant. In 1914 he married Florence Mary Turnnidge in Rochford, Essex. Their child Hector Thomas was born two years later.

Prior enlisted or was called-up between 1916 and 1918, although when and with which regiment is not presently known. On 12 September 1918 he was one of 56 men from various English yeomanry regiments who were compulsorily transferred to the Corps of Hussars (at cavalry rates of pay) – he was issued regimental number 81212.

On the same day they embarked at Folkestone for Boulogne, where they were posted to the 1st North Irish Horse (V Corps Cyclist) Regiment. They joined the regiment in the field on or soon after 18 September, and were assigned to A, D and E Squadrons, joining in the fighting during the Advance to Victory offensive in the final weeks of the war.

In the first half of 1919 Prior was one of fifteen North Irish Horse cyclists who transferred to the Army Cyclist Corps (No.14822). He was probably posted to the 4th Cyclist Battalion at Rolsdorf, part of the Army of Occupation on the Rhine.

At the time of the 1939 Register, Prior was living with his wife and son at 41 Marine Avenue, Leigh-on-Sea, and working as a travelling timber merchant's clerk. He died there on 6 April 1970 and was buried in the Sutton Road Cemetery.



Image sourced from the Find A Grave website.