Alfred James Dobbs was born in 1882 the son of George and Rosanna Dobbs of Bozeat where he went to school.
He married Emily Johnson of Bozeat in 1900 and they lived in Spencer Rd, Rushden. A shoe laster by trade he worked in the CWS factory and elsewhere and he was elected to Rushden Urban Council in 1905 and served until 1910. He left for Leeds in 1915 and became active in the National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives and subsequently in the Labour Party serving as party Chairman during the war.
He stood for parliament several times and was elected as Member of Parliament for Smethwick in the 1945 general election but was killed the next day in a motor vehicle accident near Doncaster. He is thus the shortest serving MP on record.