Alfred Sidney Newman

Alfred Sidney Newman was the fifth of the thirteen children of Alfred Newman and his wife Harriet Cooper of Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.

Alfred Newman with his wife Clara (née Gilbert) at Littleport in 1962. Photo: Andrew Martin
Above: Alfred Sidney Newman with his wife Clara (née Gilbert) in 1962. Photo: Andrew Martin.

Alfred worked as a Basketmaker and entered this trade after receiving an apprenticeship grant from Bishop Laney's Charity in October 1899. The Cambridge Independent Press notes that he was granted the apprenticeship to learn basketmaking from Mr John Fear, basketmaker of Ely.

In 1909, he married Clara Gilbert of Littleport, Cambridgeshire, and the couple initially lived together at Clara's parents house. However, they eventually set up home back in Ely, and raised six children whilst living at Waterside, Ely.

Alfred remains with John Fear Basket Manufacturer and Rod Merchant until 1917, when John Fear writes a letter reluctantly giving up Alfred, so that he could serve in the First World War.

It appears that he resumed basketmaking production briefly in Kent, before joining the Northamptonshire Regiment and the Labour Corps. He rarely spoke of his experience in WWI.

Sadly, two of their sons pre-deceased him. Their oldest son, Wilfred, died of "an incurable illness" (a combination of Septicemia, Uretheral Fistula and Tuberculosis of the Kidney) having been released from Addenbrooke's hospital months before, whilst their youngest child, Owen Gilbert Newman was killed in Singapore as a Prisoner of War whilst on board a Japanese Hospital Ship when it was torpedoed by American forces.

A photo of Alfred holding his dog "Spot" outside his cottage in Willow Walk, Ely, appeared in a book about Ely in 1997 which was compiled by Cambridgeshire historians; Mike Petty and Pamela Blakeman which depicted Ely in a photographical history.

Alfred pre-deceased his wife Clara in 1969.

Life Events


  • 23rd April 1883 at Church Lane Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.



  • Phyllis May Newman (1909-1987) married Sidney Albert Fitch (1908-1986)
  • Iris Elizabeth Newman (1911-1970) married Horace Charles Farrow (1913-1979)
  • Wilfred Newman (1913-1929)
  • Leslie Newman (1914-1985) married Olive Maisie Wilden (1922-2018)
  • Edna Olga Newman (1916-1986) married Percy Martin (1914-1991)
  • Owen Gilbert Newman (1920-1944)

Census and Residence

  • 1891: 7yrs, Bull Lane, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1901: 17yrs, Bull Lane, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1911: 26yrs, Burnt Chimney Drove, Littleport, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1929: 5 Waterside, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1939: 17 Willow Walk, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • 1899-1917: Basketmaker for John Fear Basket Manufacturer and Rod Merchant of Ely
  • 1939: Smallholder

Military History

  • WWI: Private (#33575) - The Northamptonshire Regiment.
  • WWI: Private (#83721) - The Labour Corps.


  • 10th April 1969 at 17 Willow Walk, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England, aged 85 years.

Cause of Death

  • 1a. Myocardinal failure,
    1b. Broncho pneumonia


  • 16th April 1969 at Cambridge City Crematorium, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England.

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