Friday, 24 April 2015

Whittaker, Alfred - Corporal

(No soldier photo available)
1st Bn West Yorkshire Regiment
Died 15th June 1944.
Age 26

In June 1944, the Japanese forces in Burma made a determined attempt to capture the key town of Imphal (actually in India).  The fighting was ferocious until the Japanese were finally beaten back, to begin their retreat from Burma (now Myanmar).  On 7th June the 1st. Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment, moved to an area that was relatively quiet.  Their positions were temporarily taken over by two companies of Gurkhas.  On 12th June the Japanese, using tanks and artillery, attacked the Gurkha positions.  The West Yorkshire Regiment, although with the exception of "C" Company, were not closely engaged, suffered a number of casualties from shell-fire.  Coporal Alfred Whittaker was one of several wo died as a result.

Alfred was the son of Alfred and Elizabeth Anne Whittaker.  He was aged 26.  He worshipped at St. Thomas's Church, where he was a Sunday School teacher.  He attended Haslingden Grammar School.  He was also a sergeant in the Church Lad's Brigade.  Before he enlisted, Alfred worked in the office of the Haslingden Co-operative Wholesale Society.

Alfred is buried in Imphal War Cemetery, India.  The cemetery now contains 1,600 burials.  Alfred lies in Plot 3, Row F, Grave 17.