b. 18/10/1886 Wimbledon, Surrey. d. 30/04/1918 Crombeke, Belgium.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 30/04/1918 Crombeke, Belgium.
Furlonger was born on 18th October 1886 in Wimbledon, the son of Alfred Henry and Mary Jane (nee Steel). He had a sister, Frances Maud born in 1888. He followed in his father’s footsteps and began working in the railways as a goods clerk. In 1911, he married Margaret Mary Atkins in Wandsworth, and they had two daughters, Dorothy and Violet. He was a Freemason, and enlisted in the Royal Engineers, reaching the rank of Acting Company Sergeant Major at the time of his death.
In Flanders, on the 30th April, 1918, a train of ammunition had been placed at an ammunition refilling point, and after the engine had been detached, and was being run off the train, the second truck suddenly burst into flames. Furlonger immediately ordered Bigland, the driver, to move the engine back on to the train for the purpose of pulling away the two trucks nearest the engine. Bigland did so without hesitation, and the engine was coupled up by Furlonger, assisted by Farren, while the burning truck was uncoupled from the remainder of the train by Woodman. The two trucks were then drawn away clear of .the ammunition dump, it being the intention to uncouple the burning wagon from the engine and the first wagon, and so isolate with the object of localising the fire as far as possible. The uncoupling was about to be done when the ammunition exploded, completely wrecking the engine and both trucks, killing Furlonger, Farren and Johnston (a member of the train crew), and seriously wounding Bigland. Had it not been for the prompt and courageous action of these men, whereby three of them lost their lives and one was seriously injured, there is not the slightest doubt that the whole dump would have been destroyed and many lives lost.
BURIAL LOCATION: HARINGHE MILITARY CEMETERY, POPERINGHE, BELGIUM.
PLOT III, ROW D, GRAVE 31.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: ROYAL ENGINEERS MUSEUM, CHATHAM, KENT.
Allan Stanistreet – Image of Alfred Furlonger AM DCM.