Alfred was born in Melbury Osmond Dorset England. He joined the 40th Regiment and was sent to Ireland where he boarded the "HMS" Vulcan in 1852 at Co. Cork under the command of Col. Valient. He arrived in Melbourne and spent 3 months in Dandenong. He was then stationed at Forest Creek where he was mounted and equipped for gold escort duty. In 1854 he was sent to Ballarat where he helped to quell the riots at Eureka.