Can any one help me or point me in the right direction.  ?

I am looking for one of my relatives Alfred Abel Macpherson.... army records show him born Adelaide but I am yet to find him born there one minute show he was a Seaman then joined the Labour Corp.  I am in England so unable to go to the record office

Kind regards


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Colleen,  I think he may have been born in England as I found a reference in Australia for him as Alfred Abel Harris/McPherson - his surname appears to be spelled McPherson on that application

There is a birth in 1873 in Brentford, UK that may be him under surname HARRIS - it is possible he changed his surname at some stage

I have checked the South Australian births and there is no record to match

On his application that you attached he stated he was 43 years old in 1919 which makes him born 1876 but I suspect he changed his age by a few years to enlist

You can find that birth on the Free UK BDM site if needed

I have found a photo of him on Ancestry and he is listed under the surname HARRIS  1873 - 1954

I have no idea if he married in England or elsewhere - there is one possible in England but I also found two people with the same name so I don't know if it is him or not

Hope this link works - scroll down to find him - there are a couple of photos and one with his son



Hi Elizabeth

I went at the weekend to surrey record office because like you I went down that avenue.  I saw a probate record  showing Alfred Abel Macpherson died 1954 so I ordered the death certificate.  I have also found an Alfred Abel Harris marrying in 1947 to a Florence Macpherson.  On the probate it show him Alfred Abel Macpherson it shows his son Dennis .  I have looked for a Dennis it show him born 1932 mother name Harris.  Now totally confused  I have asked his grandchildren they say the photos are not of him

My dad remembers seeing Alfred and son Alfred which I assume is from my great aunt Emma  That he had dark complexion and tight curled hair I can send a photo of young Alfred if you think that will help

Kind Regards


Colleen,   What about the photo of him in his Royal Engineers Uniform - do the family agree that is him?

Sometimes it is hard to recognize people if you didn't know them at a particular age as their looks change

We have a photo of my husbands grandfather aged 20 in his WW1 unform and he looks so different to how he knew him later on that he didn't recognise him - same as one of my Uncles as he looked like a different person years later

This is all very mysterious & very interesting about that marriage to a MacPherson

Are the family sure that photo of young Alfred is actually him?  If so then curly hair can change over the years


Colleen, On that Ancestry link I posted there is also a photo of him in his Royal Engineers Uniform which matches exactly with the record you attached - I am absolutely sure it is him

I can get larger versions of those photos if you need them

People don't always put accurate info about their birth on applications to join the military for one reason & another - in those days no one bothered checking info on their application forms



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