Unit: 6th Lincolnshire Regt.
Commemorated: Loos Memorial, and France
Born at Croft near Wainfleet, Walter lived in Tetford with his Mother, Mrs. S. Welberry. Prior to the war, Walter worked for Messrs. Crowder & Sons, Thimbleby Nurseries. From newspaper reports, it can be seen, in November 1916, Walter was admitted to St. Luke’s Hospital Halifax, in order that he could recover from gun shot wounds received in his left hand. We know he was married, since the report records Robert’s wife as having received a letter from him, in which he says he was making a good recovery. This he obviously did only to find himself back on the Western front again some time later.
After enlisting at Horncastle, Walter found himself drafted to the 6th battalion of the Lincolns, a further Kitchener battalion. Formed at Lincoln, the battalion was part of the 33rd Brigade, the 11th (Northern) Division. The Division was formed in August 1914 and assembled around Grantham. By June 1915 the Division received orders to make itself ready for service in the Dardanelles. Embarkation began on the 30th June, when the bulk of the Division left Liverpool aboard the Empress of Britain and the Aquitania. On the 6th August the Division took part in the landings at Suvla Bay. After a disastrous campaign, the area around Suvla was evacuated on the 19th-20th December 1915. By January 1916 the Division was in Egypt, where it remained until it was deployed to France, around the village of Flers, on the 15th July, having missed the start of the battle of the Somme.
By the 24th January 1918, the Regimental History records the 6th Lincolns as being engaged in training, after which they took over trenches around Vaudricourt. It states “trench warfare as normal” although, at this time, the enemy used a new gas, the action of which is described “No immediate effects observed, but after 48 hours the men developed lachrymation of the eyes and slight bronchitis”. In one company there were 61 casualties. The 6th Lincolns were in billets by the 20th March and were not, again, in any major action until August 1918. As Walter died on the 2nd April, one must assume this to be as a result of the gas attack encountered in late March