Alexander John Partridge was born in London and came to Chelmsford as a boy in 1903. Like his father he worked at Hoffmann’s bearings factory before joining the army. After three years service in France, during which time he was twice wounded, he was killed in action in March 1918, a victim of Germany’s final offensive. His home was in Rainsford Lane.
Alexander was born in Finsbury Park, London in 1892, the son of Owen Horatio Partridge and Mary Elizabeth Partridge (nee Yuill).
His father had been born in 1855 in Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire; his mother in 1866 in London. They had married at St. Mark’s Church in Islington, London on 15th April 1889. At the time his father was a 33 year-old bootmaker living ar 278 St. Paul’s Road in Islington; his mother was aged 23 and lived at 105 Fonthill Road, Islington. Two years later the couple were still resident in Islington..
Alexander’s three siblings were Ethel Elizabeth Partridge (born in 1890 in Highbury, London), Owen Horatio Partridge (born in 1893 in Holborn, London, died 1930). and Alfred Herbert Partridge (born on 14th January 1897 in Finsbury Park, London, died in 1974).
The 1901 census found Alexander, aged seven, living with his parents, maternal grandmother and three siblings at 40 Pooles Park, Islington, London. His father was a bus conductor.
In 1903 the family moved to Chelmsford. Alexander’s sister Ethel died in the town two years later.
In 1911 the census recorded 18 year-old Alexander living with his parents and two surviving siblings at 3 Hope Square off Primrose Hill, Chelmsford. Alexander was a metal grinder at Hoffmann’s ball-bearings factory in Chelmsford; his father was a boot repairer; brother Owen was a clerk at Crompton’s electrical engineers; while brother Alfred was a butcher’s errand boy for the London County Meat Company.
Alexander enlisted at Chelmsford. He was killed in action on 22nd March 1918 near Cambrai while serving as Private 40344 (formerly 5093) in C Company of the 11th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. He was aged 25.
On 5th April 1918 the Essex County Chronicle reported:
“Mrs. G. H. Partridge , 9 Rainsford Lane, Chelmsford, has received news that her oldest son, Pt. A. J. Partridge. Leicestershire Regt., Lewis gun section is reported missing since March 22, He had previously suffered from trench fever and had been twice wounded. This was his third year in France. Mrs. Partridge has another son who is a prisoner of war.”
PARTRIDGE, ALEXANDER JOHN,
Private, 11th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment
Alexander has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, in the Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery in Arras, Pas de Calais in France, and on the Civic Centre Memorial, Chelmsford. The Arras Memorial commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918, the eve of the Advance to Victory, and have no known grave.
The 1918 register of electors listed Alexander’s parents at 9 Rainsford Lane, Chelmsford which was later renumbered 40 Rainsford Lane (now demolished). The property stood at the southern sid eof the junction with Cramphorn Road.
His father died in 1935, aged 80; his mother died in 1949, aged 83.