A lucky man was he

Alfred Edward Chilcott was born 23 Jul 1893 at Spaxton in Somerset, England. His parents were James Chilcott and Sarah Type. On 3 Nov 1928 he married Ethel Nellie Emery Baker at Spaxton.

Alfred was my half 1st cousin 3x removed, connected to me by my 3rd great-grandfather William Chilcott who was baptised at St Mary in Bridgwater on 17 Oct 1813.

Why was a lucky man? Well, according to the Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser of 23 Nov 1946:

An Ancient Coin

A copper coin, dated 1700, had been found by Mr. A. E. Chilcott in his garden at Currypool. The coin bears the image of William III. Previous to this reign there were mints in almost every county and at one time the Sovereign, barons and bishops had the right to coin money and the coinage had been so debased that tradesmen refused to accept it at its face value.

In the reign of WIlliam III county mints were abolished and authority to coin money was vested in the National Mint.

He found a coin that may have been in the ground for 246 years! I can see the smile on his face, can’t you? In 1939 he lived at 106 Currypool, Splatt Corner.

Alfred also served in the Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own) 5th Battalion as a Sergeant #54093 in the First World War.

The Western Daily Press of 25 Jan 1917 tells us this story:

Sergeant Alfred E. Chilcott, of the Rifle Brigade – a son of Mr. Jas. Chilcott, of Swan Cottages, Cannington, near Bridgwater – has been awarded the Military Medal for taking 28 German prisoners single-handed. The sergeant, who was formerly a pupil at the Cannington Council School, went to the front in July, 1915. A brother – Lance-Sergt. Ernest C. Chilcott – served at the front with the Coldstream Guards for 25 months, returning wounded to England last September.

Or in more flowery terms, from the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 26 Jan 1917:

Sergeant Alfred E. Chilcott, of the Rifle Brigade, is a native of the part of Wessex in which history has been made. He comes from near Cannington, near Bridgwater – Cannington, the home of Rosa Mundi, that woman of wondrous beauty who was beloved by Henry of Anjou; the side of a nunnery founded nearly 800 years ago by Robert de Courci; the locale of Brymore House, where the Puritan John Pym was born. Pages of history were made in these parts, and now Sergeant Chilcott, a son of Mr. James Chilcott, of Swang Cottages, has brought further honour on the village by being awarded the Military Medal for taking 28 German prisoners single-handed. The gallant sergeant went to the front in July, 1915, and has a brother who has been wounded in the war.

Alas, Ernest Charles Chilcott, his brother, was not as lucky. He was killed in action on 27 Nov 1917, also a Sergeant #10210, but in the 1st Battalion of the Coldstream Guards. He is remembered on Pane 2 of the Cambrai Memorial.

In 1931 Alfred had a son and named him Ernest, perhaps in memory of his brother.


See Ernest at Lives of the First World War  and also Alfred at Lives of the First World War.

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