Alfred Smith was born in November 1875 in the town of Rugeley, Staffordshire and was admitted December 1890 Aged 15.
Alfred’s father died of diabetes in 1884 leaving seven children. His mother was described in the admissions report as “irreproachable for cleanliness and respectability” but was unable to work due to abscesses on her legs from which she had suffered for five years. She received parish relief of 3 shillings and three loaves of bread a week. Alfred was described as “smart and intelligent, capable of making his way” despite having his right leg amputated aged 13.
After receiving an apprenticeship in a Tailor’s workshop, he became a tailor in Kingston, Surrey in 1895.