Alfred Knight was a Scotsman and a merchant ships engineer
when it was torpedoed soon after the commencement of World War 1. This resulted
in injury to his leg and being adrift in the Atlantic for some days before
rescue. He was taken to the the
Dreadnought Hospital for Seamen in Greenwich, South East London where it was
recommended that his leg be amputated as gangrene was possible. He refused the
advice but the leg troubled him for the rest of his life.
On discharge from hospital he found employment in Woolwich Arsenal where the language skills he had picked up during his seafaring days were put to good effect as the arsenals informal translator for their foreign staff.
Towards the end of the war he met and married
Gladys Barker, the daughter of a naval outfitter where Alfred bought his
suits and they lived at 82 Victoria Road, Charlton (no longer existing) where
Leslie was born. Within a few months of
his birth Alfred announced, apparently with little or no consultation with his
new wife that he would seek employment in Rangoon. They sailed on the
SS. Burma and Alfred worked as engineer in the rice mills, in the oil fields
and on merchant ships.
Due to failing health the family returned to West Ham in 1930.
Information provided by Olive Knight.