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Alfred Sharples was the husband of Ena Schofield, the father of Vera, Madge and Ian and the grandfather of Colin Lomax.

Alfred met his future wife in 1917 when he was sent home from the war to nurse an injured leg. Although he and Ena had chemistry, Ena was upset to learn that Alfred was already married and she immediately left him alone. When the war was over, Alfred and Ena met again and Alfred put Ena in the picture of his marriage: it was a name-only affair. He had married the daughter of a man his father had owed money to. He also explained that his wife had recently died, and Ena gave things a second go.

In 1920, Ena and Alfred got married, and they had three children together: two daughters, Vera and Madge, in 1921 and 1924 respectively, and a son, Ian, who died two days after his birth. The family lived together in Inkerman Street.

Alfred died on 19th March 1937, at the height of the Depression, leaving Ena a widow with two children (according to Ena, he "caught 'is death marchin' about in a wet mac, tryin' to improve the lot o' the workers"). They continued living in Inkerman Street, but Ena desired a change of scenery and moved her and her daughters into the vestry of the Glad Tidings Mission Hall on Victoria Street, where she stayed until 1968.

In 1967, Ena decided to visit Alfred's grave along with her close friend, Albert Tatlock, who had served with Alfred during the war. When the two arrived, Ena was shocked to discover that someone has placed fresh flowers on his grave, and immediately began to suspect that Alfred had another woman in his life. She found more flowers, with a florist's card, and visited the florist in question, whereupon she discovered that a man bought them and that £100 has been transferred into her bank account. She received a letter referring to her deceased son Ian as "half-pint", and automatically thought of Jack Brown, Ian's Godfather; he denied it but reminded her that Henry Foster also referred to her son by that nickname. It turned out that Henry was the sender, feeling guilty for taking a job that should have gone to Alfred. By means of an apology, he asked Ena to move in as his housekeeper in St. Annes. She eventually agreed, after declining a place in an old folk's home and staying with Minnie Caldwell, to lodge with Henry for a brief time.

Alfred appeared in two pieces of Coronation Street fiction: Snug O'War and Ena's Brief Encounter. In the former, Alfred was worried about returning home after losing an each-way bet on the Epsom Derby and breaking his shoe on the tramlines on Rosamund Street, as both would attract Ena's wrath. He, along with Percy Longhurst and Armistead Caldwell, took refuge in the snug of the Rovers Return Inn, but they were swiftly found and ordered out by Ena, Minnie and Martha Longhurst.
In the latter story, Alfred was away at war, and Ena met up with childhood friend Will Watson. She realised that she loved both Alfred and Will and was worried. However, Albert Tatlock's lady-friend, Bessie Vickery, had seen Ena and Will together and informed Alfred of this in a letter. Alfred, along with two other soldiers, went off on a dangerous mission and didn't return for three days, and Albert fretted over Bessie's letter. Alfred returned to Weatherfield for New Year 1918 and, with permission from Thomas and Mary Schofield, took Ena to a dance, where Ena realised that Alfred was the man for her.
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