Alfred was born in Saxlingham Nethergate on 18 March 1883.
His parents were William and Marion Agnes( nee Cutts) Shemming. His father was a brick maker and the family lived on Saxlingham Green. There was a brick works and kiln near Saxlingham Thorpe Church, which is near Saxlingham Green.
Alfred’s father William Shemming
His siblings were;
Emily born 22 August 1878 (she lived with her grandparents as a child). She died in June 1911 and is buried in Saxlingham Churchyard.
Ada A born 1881
William James born 1882
Hilda Agnes born 6 October 1884. She died January 1885
George born 30 December 1888
Kate Victoria born 1887. She died December 1906
Maurice Arthur born 13 August 1890
Charles Frederick born 7 May 1894
Mabel born 1896
Arthur was baptised on 26 August 1883 at the same time as his brother William at Brockdish Church. In the records their place of abode was given as Saxlingham Nethergate. Their mother Marion came from Brockdish.
The family lived on Saxlingham Green. In 1901 William and his sister Emily were living at Woodhouse Farm. She was a servant and he was a brick maker. Alfred was working as a general labourer.
William, George and Charles Shemming
In 1911 Emily was a servant at the Old Hall, Saxlingham, Maurice was an under gamekeeper, Charles was a gardener’s labourer, George was a baker, Alfred was a carpenter and Ada was a parlour maid in Sussex. It is not known where William was or his occupation. In later life he was a baker.
Alfred was a bell ringer and rang at St Mary’s Church, Saxlingham for many years. He is in the photograph taken when the bells were rehung in 1899 and also in the one taken when two new trebles were added in 1908.
Rehanging of the bells in 1899. Alfred is in the back row, second from the right behind the bells
Photograph taken when two new bells were installed in 1908. Alfred is in the back row, first on the right with a moustache and flat cap
Bell ringing at that time was a popular pastime of young men. With the greater use of bicycles and trains the young men could meet up with others at local towers. Many belonged to local ringing associations.
On Saturday 22 October 1910 he rang the fifth bell in a peal of Bob Major at Saxlingham. It was the first peal that he had rung and it took two hours and fifty minutes.
In 1905 he married Violet Ada C Holdsworth. In some of the family trees in www.ancestry.co.uk her name is given as Catchpole but on the official register it is Holdsworth.
In 1911 the family lived on the Green, near Alfred’s parents. He worked as a carpenter on the Estate. They had four children at that time
Leonard Alfred David born 9 March 1906,
Ivy Marion born 1907
Lilian Kathleen Victoria born 14 January 1909 (She lived with her grandmother, whose maiden name was Catchpole, in 1911)
Hilda May born 1910
They had another daughter Florence who was born in October 1915 but who died the same year.
Leonard was baptised in Saxlingham Nethergate but Ivy was baptised in Heigham and Hilda and Lilian in St Andrew’s Church, Eaton.
During the First World War Alfred served with the Royal Engineers, his service number was 85054 but his records have not survived. It is not known where he served. He is not on the Absent Voters’ List for Saxlingham but he is on the War Memorial.
It is not known where he lived on returning from the war. At some time before 1932 he and his wife Violet were divorced.
In 1932 he married Olive May Pentney, born 5 May 1899. She came from Blofield Norfolk.
In 1939 they were living at 9 Spitalfields, Norwich and he was working as a builder’s carpenter.
He and Olive had two sons Jack born 18 July 1932 and Frank born 21 August 1934.
His ex-wife was living in 1939 at 143 Barrack Street, Norwich.
Alfred died in Norwich in September 1946 aged 63 years old.
England & Wales, Birth, marriage, death index 1837-2005
UK Census Collection
British Army Medal Roll Index cards, 1914-1920
1939 Register- www.findmypast.co.uk
British Army Service Records
Norfolk, Church of England Diocesan Baptismal Records, Saxlingham Nethergate., Heigham and Norwich.
Photographs from family trees on www.ancestry.co.uk
Bellringing information from Jeff Fox, Tower Captain, St. Mary’s Church, Saxlingham Nethergate.
Record of peal in Bell News, 19 November 1910.
Copies of photographs of installation of the bells in 1899 and 1908, St Mary’s Church, Saxlingham Nethergate.
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