Alfred Calcraft, b1865 Muston

A soldier recording his service in needlepoint

Alfred Calcraft Sampler
With the kind permission of Mrs. R. Calcraft


Alfred Calcraft, born in 1865 in Muston, was the youngest son of William and Mary Calcraft of Breeder Hills Farm which lies between Muston and Sedgebrook.

He was baptised at Muston church on the 18 June and grew up helping on the farm before leaving to head north. For a short while he joined the 3rd Battalion of the Yorkshire Militia whilst working as a groom near York and on the 15 January 1884 Alfred travelled to Beverley where he signed up to join the East Yorkshire Regiment with service number 867.

After training around Sheffield and Bradford, his regiment was sent to Gibraltar on the 17 March 1885 and then on to the West Indies in December that year. They were billeted in the Blue Mountains above Kingston on the island of Jamaica, in a hill fort which had been built at the Newcastle coffee plantation because it was found that the high loss of troops to yellow fever could be avoided by basing them in the hills rather than in the town. There must have been long periods of inactivity for the men and Alfred made a needlepoint sampler during idle moments, including his references EYR and 867, which the Calcraft family in Bottesford still keeps and treasures. In November 1888 the regiment sailed on HMS Orontes to South Africa where Alfred was based at Cape Town for the next three years. Unfortunately Alfred started to have epileptic fits during 1891 and he was discharged on health reasons in November 1891 and transported back to England.

In 1903 he married Elizabeth Alice Musson at Bottesford church and they settled at South Willingham near Hainton in Lincolnshire. Later they moved to Duncombe Street in Grimsby where Alfred worked as a park attendant. He died in 1949, five years after his wife.

This page was added on 13/04/2018.

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