French Village Remembers Bristol Deserter

Alfred Jefferies

Alfred Jefferies was the only man from Bristol shot by the British Army for desertion in World War 1.

In November 2016, on the centenary of his execution, Bristol’s Remembering the Real World War 1 group laid a wreath in his memory in The Dings Park. The event was attended by local people as well as members of Alfred Jefferies’ family. It was widely covered by local media. See the story from the time on our website here.

The story of Alfred (and his brother Arthur who died on the Somme in 1916) has now crossed to France. Alfred was shot in the village of Penin in the Pas de Calais region. Having heard of our event and the ‘Bristol Deserter’ pamphlet, on 1st November 2018 people of the village met to remember Alfred Jefferies themselves. David Jefferies, Alfred’s great-great nephew, and other family members were present.

They laid a wreath to mark the site of his execution

Wreath To Mark Alfred Jefferies’ Execution

They stood to remember Alfred

People of Penin Honour Alfred Jefferies

They then visited his grave in Arras cemetery.

David Jefferies and other family members at Alfred Jefferies’ graveside¬†

The commemoration was reported on local television in the Pas de Calais.

(Scroll down the page to the display of ‘19/20 Nord Pas-de-Calais‘ broadcasts by date. Scroll sideways to the broadcast for 01/11/2018. About four minutes into the programme is the report of the commemoration.)

It was also reported in the local newspaper and can be seen on their website here

The next day they visited the area where Arthur Jefferies was killed to remember his life as well

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