Alfred Richard Stocks, born in 1915, a pre-war regular was serving as a Private (No.6596188) with the 1st Battalion, Essex Regiment during the Arab rebellion in Palestine in 1936. It is likely that he was with the Battalion when it was sent to join the International Force overseeing the Saar’s referendum in 1934. The records state that by that time Alfred had attained the rank of Lance Corporal.
During World War 2 his unit saw service in the Sudan, where having broken and retreated in disorder was withdrawn from the frontline and sent back to Palestine for a period of time.
The 1st Battalion later served in Burma as part of the 23rd Infantry Brigade of the 2nd Chindit Expedition. In 1944, the Infantry Brigade fought in the Naga Hills to the north and east of Kohima, and while a part of Wingate’s Special Force they were the only Long Range Penetration Unit that did not take part in Operation Thursday, the principal Chindit operation in 1944.
Alfred was evacuated to England and later died at Southend Municipal Hospital, Rochford on 16th May 1944. He is buried at Eastwood (St. Laurence and All Saints) Churchyard.
Alfred was awarded the General Service Medal clasp Palenstine, 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, Burma Star and 1939-45 War Medal.