Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.
Photograph of Lieutenant Alec Edward Boucher by kind permission of Mike Boucher.
Alec Edward Boucher was born in Claverley in 1889 and was baptised at the parish church on March 17th. He was the son of Benjamin Boucher, wheelwright, and his wife, Fanny. The family lived in the Claverley hamlet of Rudge Heath.
Alec was educated at Bridgnorth Grammar School before becoming a schoolteacher.
Alec initially joined the 9th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment where he is recorded as L/Corp. 16939. He was later commissioned and transferred to the 11th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He won the Military Cross in June, 1916 (it is believed that he retrieved a fellow soldier from No Mans land and recovered him to his own lines whilst seriously wounded himself). He was killed in action on 18th November, 1916 at the end of the Battle of Ancre - the last phase of the Battle of the Somme, 1916. He is buried in Ancre British Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel.
Lieutenant Boucher was awarded the Victory and British medals and the 1915 Star.
AWARDED THE MILITARY CROSS [Bridgnorth Journal 10th June, 1916] Among the list of War Office honours we note that Temp. Second-Lieut. Alec E. Boucher. 11th R. Warwickshire Service Batt, was awarded the Military Cross for distinguished conduct in the field. Lieut. Boucher was educated at Bridgnorth Grammar School, and was a pupil-teacher under Mr. Lloyd, of Worfield. He proceeded to Saltley Training College, and then to Halesowen C. E. Schools as assistant-master, where he took an active part in the Scout movement. He afterwards obtained a position as teacher in the Barnwell Boys' School, Cambridge, becoming an undergraduate in 1913. On the outbreak of war he joined H.M. Forces, being sent to France in July, 1915. He has three brothers in the Army.
Letter from Lieut. Boucher's C.O. describing the circumstances of his death (courtesy of Mike Boucher).
Letter from Lance Corporal F. H. Cope describing the circumstances of his death (courtesy of Mike Boucher).
A second letter from Lance Corporal F. H. Cope describing the circumstances of his death (courtesy of Mike Boucher).
Letter of sympathy from Lt. Col. C. S. Collison, Lieut Boucher's former C. O. (courtesy of Mike Boucher).
OLD BOY NOTES [Bridgnorth Grammar School Magazine, December 1916] There is a heavy list of Casualties among our Old Boys this term. Five more names have to be added to the ever-lengthening list of those who have fallen on the Field of Battle: Pte. T. H. Robins, Pte. F. Head, 2nd Lieut. A. E. Boucher, Sgt. R. B. Findon, Pte. H. Walker. They have made the supreme sacrifice and are at rest, but we shall not forget, and their names will live in our annals as long as there is a Bridgnorth Grammar School.
[Bridgnorth Grammar School Magazine, December 1916]
We have received the sad news that 2nd Lieut. A. E. Boucher has died of wounds received in action. It was only as recently as June 3rd of this year that he was awarded the Military Cross for patrolling and intelligence work. With his death a bright and promising career has been cut short.
As a boy at the School he was a most conscientious worker, single-minded in his devotion to duty, constant in his determination to give only of his best, not merely bookish, however, but of wide sympathies, interested in and taking part in the varied activities of school-life both in and out of School. Though full of energy and intensely virile, he was of a gentle disposition and deservedly popular with all the boys. These qualities, which distinguished him while at School, he took with him out into the greater school of life as is shown by the following brief summary of his career up to his untimely death.
After leaving B.G.S. he became a pupil teacher under Mr. Lloyd at Worfield. He proceeded to Saltley Training College and then on to Halesowen Church of England Schools as Assistant-master. Whilst there he took an active part in the Scout Movement. He afterwards obtained a position as a teacher in the Barnswell Boys' School, Cambridge, becoming an undergraduate in 1913. He enlisted at the outbreak of war and was sent to France in July of last year.
As he had many sympathies so he must have had many friends who will miss him and grieve for him. We associate ourselves with them in their sorrow. Those of his blood who miss him every moment, we can but assure of our sympathy; we know how weak and futile words must seem on such an occasion as this. Yet we would fain finish on a note of hope, the thought so beautifully expressed by Shelley.
"Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep -
He hath awakened from the dream of life."
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.