Private, TF/2292, 1st/4th Royal Sussex Regiment
Died of Wounds during the Dardanelles campaign, 30 August 1915, aged 19
Buried at Sea in the Mediterranean
Commemorated at the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Panel 125

Alfred Jesse Sands' entry in the Forest Row Book of Remembrance
(Click to enlarge)

Alfred Jesse Sands was born in Forest Row in 1896, the younger son of Thomas and Mary Sands, both born in Hartfield. In the 1901 census he was living at Alpha Cottages, Golf Road (now known as Chapel Lane) with his father, aged 38, mother, 29, older brother William, 6, and younger sister Mary, 3.

In 1911 the family was living at "Sands Cottage" — this name may have been used to identify the Sands' house in this row of artisans' dwellings. Thomas is recorded as a carpenter and there is now a younger daughter, Amy. The next habitation on the census is Stone House Lodge, on Hartfield Road, a few hundred yards east. The line of the path between the first (Alpha) cottages in Chapel Lane and the lodge is now part of Park Crescent, an inter-war development of houses parallel with Hartfield Road on the southern side.

The 1911 census shows Alfred as a messenger boy with the General Post Office (GPO). This would be a typical job for a boy of fifteen. Telegraph messages received at the Post Office would be printed out on narrow strips, stuck to a form and a boy who knew the locality well would deliver them. With a uniform provided and possibly a cycle it was regarded as a good start for a working-class boy.

Alfred's entry in Forest Row memorial book is signed by his mother, then living at Tudor Cottage on the north side of Hartfield Road a few hundred yards west of Chapel Lane.

The Helles Memorial is an obelisk that can be seen by ships passing through the Dardanelles. The memorial commemorates those who died in the Dardanelles campaign and those who were buried at sea or who have no known grave.

Alfred's elder brother William was also killed in the First World War.

Vivien Hill