Alfred Robert Howland was one of nineteen children of William and Alice Howland. He was born in 1883, when the family were living in Pound Street, later Wellington Street, Thame.
Alfred married Harriet Elizabeth Loader at All Saints Church, Birmingham, in April 1914.
In February 1901 at the age of 18, he enlisted at Hounslow with the Royal Fusiliers (L/8701), and went on to complete 12 years of service during which time he served in South Africa, Burma, and India.
He was discharged to the reserves in February 1913. Mobilised with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers at the start of the war, he was quickly engaged in actions in northern France, where he received a wound to the thigh, resulting in hospitalization in Paignton, Devon. Returning to the front, he was conferred with the Montenegro Medal for Merit (Silver) on 31st October 1916 for distinguished service.
On 31st July 1917, Sergeant Alfred Howland was wounded at the battle of Pilckem Ridge, near Ypres, and died of his wounds at a casualty clearing station on 4th August, age 34.
He is buried in Brandhoek New Military Cemetery No.3 in Belgium. He is remembered in Thame on the war memorial, and on the memorial boards of St Mary’s, All Saints’, and Christchurch churches