Alfred Willis was born in Thame in 1886, to William Willis, a maltster and Harriett Willis (nee Grainger), and was one of 6 children. In 1891 the family were living in Bicester, Oxfordshire, and by 1901 had moved to Brackley, Northamptonshire.
Alfred married Elizabeth Viccars in Buckingham on 29 April 1908, and they had a son William John Willis, born in 1910.
Alfred was employed as a gardener in Brackley when he was called up in November 1916. Initially, he was posted into the Army Service Corps followed by various Training Reserve Battalions, until in August 1917 he was posted to the 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry who were serving in France. He was wounded at Etaples in April 1918, requiring a period in hospital in England.
Returning to France in August 1918 to join the 18th Battalion, he was almost immediately reposted to the 15th Battalion at Simencourt near Arras, arriving on the 30th. 44155 Private Alfred Willis was killed on 8th October 1918 in the attack at Angles Chateaux, one of 51 men of the battalion who were killed during the 2nd Battle of Cambrai.
Private Willis is buried in Bois-des-Angles British Cemetery, Crevecoeur-Sur-L’escaut, France and is commemorated on the Brackley war memorial, but is not yet remembered in Thame.
The Thame Remembers Cross was delivered to Bois-des-Angles British Cemetery, Nord, France on 22nd May 2016 by Margaret Bretherton (Thame Remembers)