Claude Francis Alexander was born in Leicester in 1893, the eldest son of George Alexander (1870-1949) and Sarah Mutton (1872-1927). Claude and his siblings Reginald George (1895-1955), Charles (1897-1925) and Marjorie Florence (1910-) lived firstly at one end of Hartopp Road – number 116 – and then at the other. When Claude and Reginald signed up to join the Territorial Army it was while the family was living at number 9 Hartopp Road. The family were Baptists.
Claude joined the Leicestershire Regiment in October 1914, when he was working as a clerk for a shoe manufacturer. He started as a private but was promoted to lance corporal in 1916, and 5 months later to corporal. Claude served in France, returning home briefly every year. In 1917 he suffered a wound to his left knee and spent a couple of months in hospital in Bristol, but returned to France and was killed on 17th July 1918, less than three months before the end of the war. He is buried at Fouquieres-les-Bethune, Pas de Calais, along with 386 of his compatriots, mainly fellow Territorial forces. He never married.
Claude’s brother Reginald survived the war. He joined the Territorial Army in 1913 aged just 17 and just 5 feet and 5 inches tall when he was a clothing dresser in the emply of Messrs Thorneloe Clarkson (in Northampton Street). Sadly records of Reginald’s full service are lost, but we do know that he married Doris Stuffins in 1928 and lived in Leicester until his death in 1955.