Alfred was born on 17th October 1865 in Birkenhead to James Magnall and Sarah Elizabeth Barnet. James worked as a painter.
In the 1871 Census the family are living at 84 Tatton Street, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Alfred is at school. Alfred’s father died in 1874 and Sarah remarried to Joseph Hall.
The 1881 Census shows that Alfred was living with his mother and step-father at 18 Mill Lane in Ashton-Under-Lyne and he was working as a “Shop Boy Tobacconist”
Alfred married Alice Ann Emmett in 1888 and their son James was born on 22 October 1888. At the time of James’ baptism at St Clement Church, Toxteth they were living at 84, Whittier Street, Toxteth, Liverpool and Alfred is shown to be working as a telephonist.
By the time of the 1891 Census they were living at 55 Dorothy Street, West Derby, Liverpool and Alfred was working as a Telephonist. The Kelly’s Directory of Cheshire, 1896 showed that Alfred had done well in his work and was the “Manager – National Telephone Co. Ltd., 13 Waterloo Rd, Runcorn, Cheshire”.
Alfred and Alice had three children that we know of:
The 1901 Census shows Alfred and his eldest son James at 18 Lancaster Rd, Rusholme, Manchester. Alfred is working as an electrical engineer and James is shown as being 12 years old. There is no sign of Alice Ann at this time. Gertrude and Harry are visiting William Martin and his family at 1 Ellesmere Road in Stockton Heath, Cheshire.
The National Telephone Journal which first appeared in April 1906 shows that Alfred wrote or contributed to a number of articles including ones on a “Landslip at Manchester”, “Covered Distribution” and “The Stombaugh Guy Anchor”
The family are all living together at the time of the 1911 Census at 14 Beech Grove, Withington, Manchester and Alfred is shown as 45 years old working as a telephone engineer.
A news article appearing in the Telegraph and Telephone Journal December 1926: