Born in 1891 to William Henry and Louisa Smith in Guildford, Surrey, Alfred is shown in the 1901 census living at 3 Drummond Street, Cambridge, and 10 years later in the 1911 census he is listed as living in Burnley, Lancashire. Before the First World War, he was a Police Officer and on 10th October 1914 he enlisted with the East Lancashire Regiment as a Second lieutenant.
The 3rd March 1916 edition of London Gazette reports how he got the Victoria Cross;
“For most conspicuous bravery. He was in the act of throwing a grenade when it slipped from his hand and fell to the bottom of the trench, close to several of our officers and men. He immediately shouted out a warning, and himself jumped clear and into safety, but seeing that the officers and men were unable to get into cover, and knowing well that the grenade was due to explode, he returned without any hesitation and flung himself down on it. He was instantly killed by the explosion. His magnificent act of self-sacrifice undoubtedly saved many lives.”
He died aged 24 on 22nd December 1915, and is buried at Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery in Turkey. His Victoria Cross is displayed at Towneley Hall in Burnley, Lancashire.