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Albert Evelyn Alderson, Captain The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment

​Albert Evelyn Alderson matriculated in October 1902 from Dover College. After being awarded a Rustat scholarship, he gained a lower second class degree in Classics in 1905.

Born: 4 October 1883

Accidentally drowned while on active service: 11 March 1918

Alderson was a keen sportsman who played both rugby and hockey for Jesus College. He played at three-quarter in the first Rugby XV throughout his time as a student. It is likely that he was a member of the team that went to play his old school, Dover College in a new fixture in 1903 which resulted in a draw. A trip not without incident as two members of the team went missing in London en route to Dover. Thankfully they arrived “by another train, with a very lame excuse but just in time”. (Chanticlere, Michaelmas Term 1904, p. 504)

The team went to Dover again the following year and the Captain was pleased to arrive in Dover “this time without losing any members of the team” as well as to win 14-0. Not all of the group were able to resist the “many allurements” London had to offer on the return journey! (Chanticlere, Lent Term 1905, p. 543)

Alderson was also a member of the Jesus College hockey team which had reached the first division for the first time in the 1904-5 season and acquitted themselves quite well. Pitch conditions were not always ideal: “The Trinity match was played on a ground which was manifestly too wet for hockey, and so the game greatly resembled a mud fight. However, the dash of the forwards… brought us out victorious.” Alderson was one of those forwards. (Chanticlere, Lent Term 1905, p. 549)

The Jesus College Cambridge Society Annual Report 1919 obituary for Alderson says that after he left College in 1905 he spent some time abroad learning languages before becoming a Master at Cheam and then St John’s School in Leatherhead. He joined up early in the war before he accidentally drowned at Salonica in March 1918. At the time of his death he was attached to the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

You can email us on ww1-project@jesus.cam.ac.uk, go to our First World War homepage, or find us on Lives of the First World War.

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