Lieutenant Alfred William Batson
Alfred William Batson was born on the 25th of February 1887 in Dorking, Surrey to William Lascelles Batson and Barbara Edwina Batson nee Blakeney.
Alfred´s father William Lascelles Batson was born in the 3rd quarter of 1852 in Devon to gentleman Thomas Batson and Harriet Batson. William Lascelles was baptised on the 29th of August 1852 in Tedburne St Mary, Devon. During the 1871 Census, William Lascelles was a boarder of Vice Principal of Bath Proprietary College John E. Symms at Edward Street, Bathwick, Bath in Somerset. William Lascelles became a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1878 and Licentie of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1879. At the time of the 1881 Census, William Lascelles visited his uncle, ship broker Frederic Sewell at Elmhurst, West Ham in Essex. William Lascelles worked as a medical practitioner.
Alfred´s mother Barbara Edwina Blakeney was born in the 3rd quarter of 1861 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire to Deputy Inspector General of Army Hospitals Edward Hugh Blakeney (born abt 1810 in City of London, Middlesex) and Charlotte Maria Blakeney (born abt 1824 in Waterford, Ireland). Barbara Edwina was baptised on the 24th of September 1861 at St Peter´s, Leckhampton in Gloucestershire. At the time of the 1881 Census, the family lived at 2 Hamilton Villas in Rochester, Kent. Charlotte Maria´s father was a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.
William Lascelles Batson and Barbara Edwina Blakeney married by Banns on the 28th of April 1886 at St Mary the Boltons, West Brompton, in Middlesex. William Lascelles was a surgeon living in Dorking and Barbara Edwina lived at West Brompton.
Alfred William Batson was born on the 25th of Februry 1887 in Dorking, Surrey. He was baptised on the 5th of April 1887 at St Martin´s church in Dorking. At the time of the baptism Alfred´s father was working as a surgeon and the family lived in the High Street in Dorking.
Alfred William had 3 sisters: Barbara born about 1890 in Dorking Surrey, Majorie born about 1892 in Dorking Surrey and Beatrice Dorothy born about 1895 in Dorking Surrey.
At the time of the 1891 Census, William Lascelles, his wife Barbara Edwina and their children Alfred William and Barbara were living at 73 High Street in Dorking. William Lascelles was working as a registered general medical practitioner. The family also employed a nurse, cook, parlourmaid and under nurse.
In 1894 Alfred´s father William Lascelles Batson and his partner Hugh Theophilus Weare Blakeney of Batson and Blakeney, surgeons at Dorking, brought a court case against defendant Horace Blackburne of High Trees, Newdigate over payment of the £10, 18s for the treatment and care of Mr Blakeney´s servant, suffering from scarlet fever.
On the 28th of February 1901, the partnership between William Lascelles Batson and Hugh Theophilus Weare Blakeney, general practitioners at Dorking, under the firm of Batson & Blakeney was terminated by mutual agreement.
At the time of the 1901 Census, William Lascelles, Barbara Edwina and their children Barbara, Majorie and Beatrice Dorothea were living at 73 High Street, in Dorking. William Lascelles was still working as a general medicial practitioner. The household also consisted of a nurse, parlourmaid and housemaid and visitors Herbert M. Batson, William´s nephew, and William´s brother, surgeon Robert S. Batson.
At the time of the 1901 Census, Alfred William Batson was a boarder and pupil of Wellington College, Masters House, Crowthorne in Berkshire. The head of the House was Phillip H. Kempthorne, a clergyman of Church of England.
At Wellington College Alfred William was in the cricket and football teams. He was in the Cricket Eleven, and winning the Prince Christian´s Annual prize for the best bowling average of that year, and also represented the Rugby Football Fifteen, winning two prizes for the best kick of the season.
Later, Alfred William studied at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst.
He was appointed the 2nd Lieutenant to the 2nd Battalion, the Duke of Cornwall´s Light Infantry on the 9th of October 1907. He subsequently served in Bermuda, South Africa (where he was attached to the Mounted Infantry), and Hong Kong, where he was in charge of the machine gun section of his battalion.
On the 16th of February 1908, the 2nd Lieutenant Alfred William Batson departed from Avonmouth Docks on the board of RMS Port Kingston to Bermuda. Alfred occupied the 1st class cabin.
On the 17th of March 1910 Alfred William was gazetted a Lieutenant to the Duke of Cornwall´s Light Infantry.
At the time of the 1911 Census, Alfred was in the military in South Africa. He was Lieutenant of the Mounted Infantry. While in South Africa he was a very keen polo player.
At the time of the 1911 Census, Alfred´s family still lived at 73 High Street in Dorking. William Lascelles was still working as a general medical practitioner, Barbara Edwina was at home with their daughter Beatrice Dorothy. The family also employed 3 domestic servants. Barbara Edwina stated that she had 4 children. The house had 13 rooms.
Soon after the outbreak of war, Alfred William´s regiment was ordered home from Hong Kong.
Lieutenant Alfred William disembarked on the 19th of December 1914 to France. He was in charge of the machine gun section of the 2nd Battalion, the Duke of Cornwall´s Light Infantry.
On the 24th of February 1915, Alfred William was commended by the Major General Commanding the 27th Division for distinquished service in the field. The Major General wrote the following words:“ Your Commanding Officer and Brigade Commander have informed me that you have distinquished yourself by your conduct in the field. I have read their reports with much pleasure.“
Lieutenant Alfred William Batson was killed in action on the 14th of March 1915 on the Mount at St Eloi, near Ypres. He was shot in the head in an attack subsequent to explosion of a mine of the enemy. In his regiment 5 officers were killed and 2 wounded. According to the 1915 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertisement: “The death of so great a proportion of officers shows, that the Cornwalls were in the thick of the fight, or the explanation may happen to be that the trench which they had captured and occupied was exploded by the enemy´s mines.“
He is buried at the Wytschaete Military Cemetery in Belgium. His grave reference is: VI.E.3. He was re-buried there after his body was exhumed from a communal grave. He was identified by his disc.
Alfred William received the British and Victory medals and the 1914 Star.
Alfred´s William father received £535, 0s and 5d in the Probate on the 4th of June 1915 in London. At the time of his death Alfred William lived at 73 High Street in Dorking.
Alfred William had his early education at Mr Radcliffe´s School, Fonthill, East Grinstead. Then he attended Wellington College and Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst. He was also an enthusiastic sportsman. Apart from playing football, cricket and polo, he was good at tennins, golf and hockey. He was also a keen shooter and a Member of the Junior United Service Club.
Alfred William´s father William Lascelles died on the 5th of July 1921 in Dorking. He was buried at the Dorking Municipal Cemetery on the 9th of July 1921.
Son of William and Barbara Lascelles Batson of 173 High Street, Dorking
Occupation Physician and Surgeon, High Street, Dorking
Regiment 2nd Battalion. D.C.L.I
Date of Death 14th March 1915
Place of Death Flanders
Cause of Death Killed In Action
Cemetery Wytschaete Military Cemetary, Heuvelland, Belgium