Alfred Seals (1885–?)


Royal Garrison Artillery 74502 112 Heavy Battery

Photo courtesy Michael Seals

Photograph of Alfred Seals in WW1

Alfred, and brothers Victor and Curtis, lived at Manor Farm, Dethick. During WW1 the Seals family moved to Church Farm, Crich. Alfred served with the 112th Heavy Battery of the RGA and was posted to France in 1916. In 1923 he married Ethel Else, then in 1935 they moved to Covert Farm, Church Broughton.

Army Service Record
He attested at Matlock on 16/02/16 aged 21 years 5 months, an unmarried stallion horseman & waggoner living at Manor Farm, Dethick. His height was 5ft 8in, he weighed 137lb and the next of kin was his father John Seals of Manor Farm Dethick. His permanent address was Common Farm, Crich. He went to France 03/09/16 and was demobbed in 10/05/19. He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals.

Family History Notes
Courtesy Gladys Hives and Michael Seals
Victor James Seals, Alfred Seals and Curtis William Seals were born at Parwich in Derbyshire and were the seventh, eighth and ninth children, respectively, of John Seals and Annie Watson. In total, the family consisted of eight boys and two girls. The family moved to the Crich area in 1901, settling at Dethick where John Seals became the tenant farmer at Manor Farm. Prior to their military service during the war, all three of the Seals brothers listed on the Roll of Honour had worked on their father’s farm. During the war years John Seals passed on the farm at Dethick due to economic problems and lack of skilled labour, and moved to Church Farm at Crich. The Seals name remains synonymous with farming in Derbyshire.

Alfred Seals was born on 5 September 1894. During the war Alfred and his brothers Victor and Curtis were attested for service at Matlock in February 1916 and Alfred was posted to the Royal Garrison Artillery in August with the rank of Gunner. Alfred embarked for France on 30 September 1916 as part of the British Expeditionary Force and was later promoted to the rank of Bombardier. He latterly served with the 112th Heavy Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal.

Alfred was demobilised from military service on 10 May 1919 and had returned to his family at Crich. He married Ethel Else in 1923 and moved into Church Farm, though they soon moved to Plaistow Green where they had two children, Thomas and Gladys. Thomas later farmed in South Derbyshire and led the Derbyshire National Farmers Union. Gladys married Lord Hives and they farmed at Milton in Derbyshire.

In the late 1920s Alfred moved back to Manor Farm at Dethick and in 1935 relocated to Covert Farm at Church Broughton. He farmed at Church Broughton until 1959, retiring to nearby Scropton, and later Etwall.

Alfred Seals passed away in Derbyshire in 1985, aged ninety years. Today his grandson farms at Sutton on the Hill and chairs the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England. Alfred’s great grandson is a leading show jumper.

Postcard of Manor Farm, Dethick

The Seal family home at Manor Farm in Dethick

Alfred Seals' brothers Curtis William Seals and Victor James Seals are also on the Roll of Honour.


1901: Dethick

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
John Seals Head 49 Farmer Brassington
Annie Seals wife 45   Brassington
Thomas W Seals son 22 Farmers son Parwich
John Seals son 20 Farmers son Parwich
Mary J Seals daughter 18   Parwich
Francis R Seals son 15 Farmers son Parwich
Edmund Seals son 13 Farmers son Parwich
Emma E Seals daughter 11   Parwich
Victor J Seals son 8   Parwich
Alfred Seals son 6   Parwich
Curtis W Seals son 4   Parwich
Rob. H Seals son 5 mo   Parwich

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1911: Dethick Farm, Dethick

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Thomas William Seals Head 32 Farmer Parwich
Emma Elizabeth Seals sister 21 Housekeeeper on farm Parwich
Alfred Seals brother 16 Shepherd Parwich

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1918 Crich voters
Alfred Seales, The Common; absent on military service.

1939 Register: Barton Blount, Broughton, Repton
Alfred Seals b.5 September 1894; farmer
Ethel Seals b.8 August 1895; home duties
Thomas A Seals 24 December 1923; assisting father