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Additions 12.03.2012, 16.1.2014, 26.4.2016.

1494, Private Alfred DEASON - 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born in Poplar, London, c.1832.


Enlisted at London on the 2nd of October 1852.

Age: 20.

Height: 5' 7".

Trade: Labourer.


Discharge & pension

Discharged, "time expired", from Hounslow on the 1st of October 1864.

Served 12 years.

Conduct: "good."

In possession of two Good Conduct badges.


Entitled to the Crimean medal with clasps for Alma, Balaclava, Inkerman, Sebastopol and the Turkish medal. His name is found at the very end of the "Balaclava" roll.


His name appeared in the 1877 list of the Balaclava Commemoration Society as a Committee member, but he is not on the 1879 revised list.

Attended the Annual Dinner in 1899.

Life after service

Marriage registered [first]

Alfred Deason married Annie Nunn, June Quarter 1866, Poplar.

Births registered

Alfred Ernest Deason, September Quarter 1870, Stepney.

William Harcourt Deason, December Quarter 1873, Poplar.

Charles Edmund [sic] Deason, June Quarter 1875, Poplar.

Frank Deason, March Quarter 1877, Poplar.

Eighteen months after leaving the army, Alfred Deason found work at the Poplar Union Workhouse, in East London, of which he became Master for many years. He became the subject of a number of court cases and enquiries and eventually resigned.

In 1866, Alfred Deason became the superintendent of the 'imbecile wards' of the new Poplar Union Workhouse. Click to enlarge.

In 1866, Alfred Deason became the superintendent of the "imbecile wards" of the "new" Poplar Union Workhouse.

(Click on image to enlarge)

1881 Census

Poplar Union Workhouse.

The 1881 Census shows Alfred Deason, aged 45, as the Master of Poplar Union Workhouse. Interestingly, he was born in Poplar. He is shown with his wife Annie, and four children aged 10 to 4 years.

Alfred Deason, 45, M, Master, Husband, Workhouse Master Munic, born Poplar, Middlesex.

Annie Deason, 43, F, Matron, Wife, Workhouse Matron, Danbury, Essex.

Alfred Ernest Deason, 10, Son, Scholar, Wapping, Middlesex.

William Harcourt Deason, 7, Son, Scholar, Poplar, Middlesex.

Charles Edwd. Deason, 5, Son, Scholar, Poplar, Middlesex.

Frank Deason, 4, Son, Scholar, Poplar, Middlesex.

In 1886, Alfred Deason was fined 5 for an assault on two sick inmates. Click to enlarge.

In 1886, Alfred Deason was fined 5 for an assault on two sick inmates - he and others had tried to put them to work picking oakum, and punished them when they refused.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Death registered

Annie Deason, 50, December Quarter 1887, Poplar.

Marriage registered [second]

Alfred Deason and Mary Ann Broughton, June Quarter 1890, in Poplar.

1891 Census

Poplar Union Workhouse

By the time of the 1891 Census he was still the Workhouse Master, but had remarried. His second wife is shown as Mary, aged 49, born Isle of Man, the "Matron of the Workhouse".

In 1894, as a result of what newspapers called the"Poplar Workhouse Scandal" (in which he was principally accused of failing to provide clothing to inmates), he was forced to resign. It is interesting to notice the involvement ofGeorge Lansbury, future Leader of the Labour Party, in developments.

 Click to enlarge.

Alfred Deason and the "Poplar Workhouse Scandal".

(Click on image to enlarge)

1901 Census

218, Romford Road, West Ham, London

He is shown as "Retired Workhouse Master".

1911 Census

22, Marlborough Road, Woodford, West Ham.

Alfred Deason, 75, Pensioner, born Poplar.

Mary Ann Deason, 69, born Isle of Man.

A son from the 1st marriage was also shown.

Death & burial

Deaths registered

Alfred Deason, 81, March Quarter 1917, in West Ham.

Mary A Deason, 85, March Quarter 1921, in West Ham.

References & acknowledgements

Census information, and registrations of Alfred Deason's marriage, children's births, and a number of deaths were kindly provided by Chris Pool.

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