Alfred George Rampton was born on the 16 December 1896 near the Brick Kiln, Tadley.
His mother was Mary Ann Long, but his father was not named on his birth certificate. In July 1898 his mother married Henry Rampton.
Alfred had four siblings from this marriage: Flossy, William (died aged 10 days), Arthur and Edward.
Alfred’s mother was living at home in Pamber Heath, with parents George and Elizabeth in 1891 and her occupation was that of ‘Domestic Housemaid’. Her parents moved from Pamber Heath to a property near Kiln House, Silchester Road, Tadley, between 1891 and 1901; this would account for Alfred’s place of birth being recorded as ‘near the Brick Kiln’.
In the 1901 Census, Mary Ann and Henry were living in Newtown, Tadley. At this time Alfred was recorded as Alfred G Rampton, aged 4 years. However, in 1911 he had reverted to his birth name and was listed as Alfred George Long, ‘General Labourer’. The property in Newtown remained the residence of subsequent Ramptons. The original cottage has since been demolished and the plot size reduced, but a Rampton, his niece, still occupies the site.
The many inconsistencies regarding his name, together with a lack of next of kin on his enlistment papers, has made it extremely difficult to establish Alfred’s identity within the Tadley community. However. we are now confident that Alfred George Rampton and Alfred George Long are one in the same person.
Alfred was unmarried.
Alfred enlisted in Winchester. It is believed that he was originally a driver in the Army Service Corps (ASC ex DVR/T/292227) but no records have been found to confirm this.
Based on his service number (23199) he probably joined 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment in November 1915. As he did not receive the
1914-15 Star medal he cannot have entered a theatre of war before 1916. He also served with the 1st, 14th and 2nd Battalions, Hampshire Regiment, during the war, suggesting that he was wounded or sick several times before he died in 1918.
The 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, was a r egular army battalion. Based in India at the start of the war, it was formed, together with other (returning) overseas regular army battalions, into the 88th Brigade of the 29th Division during January and March 1915. It was posted to Gallipoli until January 1916 when it returned to France/Flanders as part of the Second Army for the remainder of the war.
In the Hampshire Regiment Journal for December 1916, Alfred is listed as ‘wounded G.S.W. (gun shot wound), ankle, left finger, Currently in V.A.H. (Voluntary Aid Hospital), Torquay, Devon’. This is his only mention in the Journal.
Between September and November 1918 the 2nd and 15th Battalions were in action in Flanders as part of the final offensive of the war. Alfred was serving with the 2nd Battalion when he was killed in action on 14 October 1918. He was one of eight men killed when the battalion advanced from west of the Menin-Roulers Road to the village of Gulleghem.
Of the men remembered on Tadley War Memorial, George Garrett, Herbert Golding, William Monger, Alfred Rampton, Leonard Rampton, Ernest Sandford, Louis Stacey, Tom Taylor and George Warren all served with the Hampshire Regiment.
Alfred was killed in action on Monday 14 October 1918, aged 21; Private George Garrett (no. 7) was killed on the same day.
He is buried in Ledeghem Military Cemetery [A. 44], West-Vlaandere, Belgium.
He is also remembered on Tadley War Memorial and Tadley United Reformed Church Roll of Honour.
Alfred was awarded the Victory medal and the British War medal. These would have been sent to his family.