Alfred Edward Corbett

Place of Birth
Broughton Salford

  • Born                      1873, Broughton, Salford
  • Death:                   1 July 1916: Killed at the Battle of the Somme, France

Born at Broughton in 1873, Alfred Edward Corbett was the younger son of Joseph Corbett, architect, and in later years the Borough Engineer for Salford, and Mary Emmeline Corbett. He was the grandson of Edward Corbett architect, and nephew of Christopher Corbett, architect. In 1881 the family were living at 64 Murray Street, Higher Broughton, but by 1899 had moved to 8 Mayfield Road, Kersal, close to the Prestwich boundary. By 1910 the family had moved to Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire. Alfred Edward Corbett was articled in 1888 to John Brooke, of Manchester, and attended various classes at the Manchester School of Art. From 1896 to 1901 he was assistant to Allan F. Vigers, of 7 South Square, Gray's Inn, London, and during this time attended the Royal Academy and Architectural Association Schools and the LC.C. Arts and Crafts School. He passed the Final Examination in 1896 and was elected Associate of the Institute in 1897, proposed by F W Mee, J Holden, J H Woodhouse. In 1911 he was elected a Fellow of the RIBA, proposed by P S Worthington, J Brooke, and J H Woodhouse. He was a Fellow of the Manchester Society of Architects and in 1896 became a member of the Architectural Association.

He commenced independent practice in 1901 with an office at 78 Cross Street Manchester. No commissions but entered a number of architectural competitions including for the new police courts and fire station, Sunderland, (1902) for which he won third premium out of 25 submitted. Other designs by him were exhibited from time to time in the Royal Academy rooms. He also undertook the preparation and publication of a map of buildings of architectural interest in and around Manchester as a guide to both the antiquary and the architectural student and in November 1903 he read a paper "Modern Domestic Architecture" to the Manchester Society of Architects. In addition, he was Lecturer upon Architecture and Building and one of the staff of the School of Technology and of the Municipal School of Art, Manchester.  In 1906 he joined John Henry Woodhouse and Benjamin Segar Dean under the style of Woodhouse Corbett and Dean, whose YMCA building, (now St George’s House), in Peter Street, Manchester is perhaps the most significant of their designs. In 1912 he gave up his architectural career and his links with Manchester, moving to London and later Leeds to become an HM Inspector of Technical Schools under the Board of Education.

Having belonged to the original Volunteer force, A E Corbett joined the Public Schools Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment as a private on the outbreak of war. He then obtained a commission in the Borders Regiment and, after a course at the Royal Staff College, Sandhurst, was promoted Captain in the 11th Battalion of the Border Regiment. In November 1915 he joined his regiment at the front.

Alfred Edward Corbett was killed in action on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. A fellow officer wrote that he was leading his company in an attack when they were met by terrific machine gun fire, and the captain was shot in the head. His body was never recovered; his name being among the thousands inscribed upon the Thiepval Memorial. He was unmarried.


Memorial: Thiepval Memorial - listed on Pier and Face 6 A and 7 C

Memorial: Royal Academy Entrance Portico Burlington House Piccadilly London

Memorial: Manchester Technical College (Manchester University) Sackville Street Manchester

Memorial: Whaley Bridge War Memorial, Memorial Park, Wheatsheaf Road, Whaley Bridge.



1897: 7 South Square, Gray's Inn, London WC, England (RIBA)

1902: Alfred E Corbett architect 78 Cross Street Manchester (Graves RA Exhibitors)

1903: Alfred E Corbett ARIBA architect 78 Cross Street (Slater)

1905: Alfred E Corbett ARIBA architect. 4, St Mary's Parsonage Deansgate, (December)

1907: 4 St Mary's Parsonage, Deansgate, Manchester

1909: Alfred E Corbett Woodhouse Corbett & Dean 100 King Street

1911: Alfred E Corbett Woodhouse Corbett & Dean 100 King Street



1881: 62, Murray Street, Broughton, Salford, Lancashire (Census)

c1899: 8, Mayfield Road Kersal Salford

1910-1911: High Leigh, Whaley Bridge, Cheshire (RIBA)

1914: 1 Westboume Villas, Ash Road, Headingley, Leeds 'West Yorkshire (RIBA)



Builder vlll, 21 July 1916, p 35

Builder vlll, 15 Dec 1916, p 375

RIBA Journal v23, 30 September 1916, page 290

Manchester City News 15 July 1916 Page 4 Column 3

Building News 19 July 1916 page 63]

Manchester Guardian 13 July 1916 page 7



Avery obit

Graves  Royal Academy Exhibitors 1905‑70

Who's who in architecture (1914)

Commonwealth War Graves Commission



RIBA Journal v23, 30 Sept 1916, page 324


Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Woodhouse Corbett and Dean Architectural practice 1906 1913 Manchester