Eli was born on 22 September 1883, the son of slater George and Annie Alred. At the time of the 1901 census they were living at Norman’s Lane, Eccleshill and 17-year-old Eli was described as a millhand at a spinning factory.On Boxing Day 1904 he married Margaret Braithwaite of Yeadon and then his occupation was given as butcher and by the time of the 1911 census, Eli was now a slater, like his father, and he and Margaret, together with four children were living at 11 Langleys Ford, Well Hill, Yeadon.On 19 October 1917, the Shipley Times & Express reported:“A Military Medal has been awarded to Sgt Eli Alred of 11 Victoria Place, Eccleshill.“He joined the colours on October 19th, 1914. Within three months of joining he was given his first stripe and within six months was made corporal and instructor. Five months ago he was promoted to sergeant in the West Yorkshire Regiment.“Ever since going up the line his
regiment has been in the thick of the fighting. His name was at the head of the list of non-commissioned officers who were especially thanked by Brigade Major J Harter for gallantry shown in the fighting on the 6th and 11th September and Alred was granted the Military Medal on September 22nd, which is his birthday.Commended“His captain commended him for some distinction for, first, keen observation and organising sniping posts; second, killing two and wounding three Germans who were observing our movements; thirdly, coolness and resourcefulness under heavy shell fire; fourth, selected by platoon officer for patrol work in no-man’s land and to particularly examine what had been reported as a disused trench.”Eli didn’t get his medal until the
following year, as reported on 24 May 1918:“At the close of the cricket match between Eccleshill and Saltaire on Monday, Sgt Eli Alred of 11 Victoria Place, was presented with the Military Medal.“The Deputy Lord Mayor, Alderman Squire Deighton, was chairman. He said that Bradford’s sons had proved their valour during the last three years.“Sgt Alred and his comrades had been waging war against an enemy who, for brutality, were worse than savages.“He then called on Cllr John Guy to make the presentation and before pinning the medal, Cllr Guy remarked that he looked upon it as one of his greatest privileges.“He had known Sgt Alred before the war and was assured that he was made of sterling stuff. He
heartily congratulated him on his achievement and said he had just cause to be proud“Sgt Alred thanked the gentlemen who had taken part for their kindness and said that all the lads had gone out to do their ‘bit.’ There had been some good lads with him or he would never have got the medal.Three hearty cheers“On the suggestion of the Deputy Lord Mayor, three hearty cheers were given for the gallant soldier who is with the West Yorks Regt., and has been out 12 months. He has been wounded. He wears the cross guns and the two blue chevrons.“The medal was won on 11th September 1917. Sgt Alred and an officer, along with 50 men, went out to bomb 120 yards of the German first line and to capture prisoners.“This they succeeded in doing and brought back five prisoners. Only three of their men were wounded.”From the Ancestry website we know that Eli died on 17 April 1931, aged 47.