Rocquigny and Equancourt are two villages in the Department of the Somme, some 13 kilometres north of Peronne and 12 kilometres south-east of Bapaume. Rocquigny and Equancourt are approximately 8 kilometres apart and the Rocquigny-Equancourt British Cemetery lies about halfway between the two villages . Etricourt was occupied by Commonwealth troops at the beginning of April 1917 during the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line. It was lost on the 23 March, 1918 when the Germans advanced, but regained at the beginning of September. The cemetery was begun in 1917 and used until March 1918, mainly by the 21st and 48th Casualty Clearing Stations posted at Ytres, and to a small extent by the Germans, who knew it as "Etricourt Old English Cemetery". Burials were resumed by Commonwealth troops in September, 1918 and the 3rd Canadian and 18th Casualty Clearing Stations buried in it in October and November, 1918. The cemetery contains 1,838 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 21 of the burials are unidentified and nine Commonwealth graves made by the Germans which cannot now be found are represented by special memorials. The cemetery also contains 198 German war burials and the graves of ten French civilians. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.
News has been received that Private Alfred Edward Pollard Army Service Corps has died of pneumonia in France on November 6th after 3 days illness. At the time of his enlistment he lived in Poynton and was in the employ of the Hollingdrake Automobile Company Stockport as a motor mechanic. He was held in the highest esteem by all who knew him, being a young man of strong moral character and possessing a kindly and genial disposition which made him a favourite among his class . He was connected with the Poynton Parish Church. He was 23 years of age and was the son of Mr and Mrs George Edward Pollard of Droitwich (Late of Poynton)
Alfred was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, the son of George, and Alice Pollard, they had 2 daughters Rose Ellen, and Ethel. George was a gamekeeper, and Alfred a motor Engineer.
Private Alfred Pollard attested into the Army Service Corps at Stockport on the 8th of September 1914 He was not to stay in the U.K for long. He set sail for France landing on the 6th of October, a few days before the rest of the Division. Alfred was posted to the 414 Mechanical Transport Company .
The Division was formed at Windmill Hill Camp, Ludgershall, in early September, 1914. It left there on 5th October and began to embark next day at Southampton. After some sailing delay due to suspected submarine activity, it arrived at Ostende on 8th October and proceeded to Bruges as part of IV Corps. The Division then remained on the Western Front in France and Flanders.
Each Division of the army had a certain amount of motorised transport allocated to it, although not directly under its own command. The Divisional Supply Column Companies were responsible for the supply of goods, equipment and ammunition from the Divisional railhead to the Divisional Refilling Point and, if conditions allowed, to the dumps and stores of the forward units. . A Company initially comprised 5 officers and 337 other ranks of the ASC, looking after 45 3-ton lorries, 16 30-cwt lorries, 7 motor cycles, 2 cars and 4 assorted trucks for the workshop and stores of the Supply Column itself.
Alfred suffered from influenza in July, 1918 spending 2 weeks in Hospital. he returned back to his Company but was readmitted to the 18th Casualty Clearing Station on the 4th of November again suffering from influenza and pneumonia he died on the 6th of November 1918.
The influenza pandemic apparently started as a fairly mild strain in a U.S. army camp in early March, 1918. Troops sent to fight in World War I spread the virus to western Europe. Outbreaks occurred in nearly every inhabited part of the world, spreading from ports to cities along transportation routes. Pneumonia often developed quickly and killed within two days. Among the most deadly pandemics in history, it left an estimated 25 million dead; unusually, half the deaths were among 20- to 40-year-olds.
In the British Expeditionary Force for the week ending 12 October to week ending 30 November 1918, there were 3,656 deaths from influenza.
Alfred served in the army for over 4 years. The inscription on Alfred’s grave reads
‘In loving memory of a dearly loved son of Mr & Mrs Pollard of Poynton’
Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank Phil Underwood for compiling this page on Alfred