CFHS code : AL245

Parish : St Andrew the Less

Inscription : In Memory of ALFRED B CROSS d June 10 1889 aged 35 erected as a mark of affection by his friends of the Working-mans Club Fitzroy St Cambridge

Monument : Headstone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Cross grave
Cross headstone



Alfred Beckett Cross ( c.1854 – 10 June 1889)

Alfred was born in Cambridge, and grew up at 22 Victoria Street.  His parents were waiter Henry Cross and his wife Sarah (née Beckett).  Aged 17, Alfred was working as a printer’s clerk. He married Fanny Machen (1846-1918) in c.1872 and the couple had one son: Alfred Machen Cross (1872-).

In 1881 they were living at 28 Brandon Place, and Alfred was documented as working as a clerk.  He died aged 35 years old and the unusual circumstances were reported in the Cambridge Independent Press on 14 June headlined ‘Mysterious death of a volunteer’. Alfred had been suffering from bronchitis and congestion of the lungs, but  ‘inflicted some wounds upon himself with a knife’ and died at Brandon Place. He had been a sergeant in the local Volunteer Corps and was buried in Mill Road Cemetery with military honours.

Fanny Cross moved to live in Islington with her mother Caroline. She did not remarry and died aged 72 years old.  Their son Alfred Machen Cross married Caroline Mattocks (1872- 1905) in 1893, but they were divorced in July 1901 due to his ‘adultery and desertion…for two years and upwards without reasonable excuse’. Alfred desserted the marriage in January 1895 and had started co-habiting with Emma Allum (1881-) with whom he had at least two children whilst still married to Caroline.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

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Alfred Beckett Cross