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Remembered Today:

1/6 Durham Light Infantry April 1915 war diary ?


RaySearching

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I have a solder Pte  William Walton 3000 1/6th Bn Durham Light Infantry

died of wounds 28th April 1915  I have downloaded the war diary's for the 6th Bn DLI 

unfortunately they start in June of 1915  I cannot locate an earlier one in the Nat Archives 

Is there one ?

Failing that, what fighting in  April 15 were the battalion engaged in ?

The  L,L.T has the battalion landing in Boulogne on the 17April 1915

which indicates William was wounded in action within 11 days of landing in the theatre of war

regards Ray

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1 minute ago, RaySearching said:

I have a solder Pte  William Walton 3000 1/6th Bn Durham Light Infantry

died of wounds 28th April 1915  I have downloaded the war diary's for the 6th Bn DLI 

unfortunately they start in June of 1915  I cannot locate an earlier one in the Nat Archives 

Is there one ?

Failing that, what fighting in  April 15 were the battalion engaged in ?

The  L,L.T has the battalion landing in Boulogne on the 17April 1915

which indicates William was wounded in action within 11 days of landing in the theatre of war

regards Ray

There isn't. I'll send you a message though Ray as I have a lot on 6th DLI,

Craig

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My database shows Walton enlisted between 28 Sep 1914 and 01 October 1914. My notes say "Private in April 1915. Ncl Journal of 21 May 1915 reports him as having died of wounds."

image.png

Craig

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Thanks Craig for the enlistment date

Extract from Durham at war 

The 1st/6th Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Harry Watson, a well-known solicitor in Barnard Castle, left Newcastle railway station for France on 19 April 1915. Within days, the raw Durham soldiers were fighting for their lives in the Second Battle of Ypres, suffering heavy casualties from shelling and gas attacks at Frezenberg and in the GHQ line, the last trench defence before Ypres itself.

                                               ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

As William is interred in Boulogne  Eastern Cemetery my initial thoughts were that he was evacuated from the battlefield wounded and died in a hospital centre in Boulogne  looking at a map of France and Belgium  Frezenberg  is quite some distance away from Boulogne  which appears to confirm my initial thought

Regards Ray

 

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Brilliant Craig

Looks like William was most likely wounded on the 26th

Thanks  

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The push along towards Zonnebeke and then the pivot left to fill the gap in the line around Hill37 was a baptism of fire, to say the least.

There are suggestions, in the newspaper reports back from men, that there was more direct contact with the Germans then the official reports would have you believe. I think it was a very timely advance that potentially stopped the salient being cut in half.

I have some more notes I to send you.

Craig

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Pte 3000 William Walton 6/DLI of Pitt Street, Spennymoor died in hospital on 28 April 1915 from wounds received in action, and was buried at Boulogne Eastern cemetery.

His platoon commander said, 'I can only speak of him in the highest terms as a soldier and a man. I specially chose him as my orderly and regret his service was cut short in such a distressful manner'. (Northern Echo 28 May)

Mrs Walton received the following letter from Lt Haythorwaite of 6/DLI

Dear Mrs Walton. 'Your son has unfortunately died from the wounds he received in the trenches last month. As your son's platoon commander I can only speak of him in the highest terms as a soldier and a man. I specially chose him as my orderly, and regret his service was cut short in such a distressful manner. I was present when he was shot in the head in the trenches after a heroic advance under heavy shellfire. Since then I unfortunately lost site of him, and one receives no information in regard to the hospital to which the wounded are allocated. Our consolation, is that your son has died the most noble of deaths in faithful service for his God, his King, and his country. I conclude with my deepest sympathy, trusting you may be given strength to bear in your disturbing loss'.

Auckland Chronicle of 3 June commented; 'The death of Pte Walton is a tragic event for his widowed mother, as he was her only son. His father was killed at Binchester Colliery some few years ago. He was attendant to Capt Stanley Badcock of Bishop Auckland, who is reported missing'.

His father William Thomas Walton was timbering a hewers place at the colliery on 30 December 1903 when a large stone fell upon him and he was killed; he lies buried in Spennymoor (Rock Road) Cemetery.

William Walton's name is commemorated on Spennymoor and Tudhoe Colliery war memorials.

John

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4 minutes ago, Hett65 said:

Pte 3000 William Walton 6/DLI of Pitt Street, Spennymoor died in hospital on 28 April 1915 from wounds received in action, and was buried at Boulogne Eastern cemetery.

His platoon commander said, 'I can only speak of him in the highest terms as a soldier and a man. I specially chose him as my orderly and regret his service was cut short in such a distressful manner'. (Northern Echo 28 May)

Mrs Walton received the following letter from Lt Haythorwaite of 6/DLI

Dear Mrs Walton. 'Your son has unfortunately died from the wounds he received in the trenches last month. As your son's platoon commander I can only speak of him in the highest terms as a soldier and a man. I specially chose him as my orderly, and regret his service was cut short in such a distressful manner. I was present when he was shot in the head in the trenches after a heroic advance under heavy shellfire. Since then I unfortunately lost site of him, and one receives no information in regard to the hospital to which the wounded are allocated. Our consolation, is that your son has died the most noble of deaths in faithful service for his God, his King, and his country. I conclude with my deepest sympathy, trusting you may be given strength to bear in your disturbing loss'.

Auckland Chronicle of 3 June commented; 'The death of Pte Walton is a tragic event for his widowed mother, as he was her only son. His father was killed at Binchester Colliery some few years ago. He was attendant to Capt Stanley Badcock of Bishop Auckland, who is reported missing'.

His father William Thomas Walton was timbering a hewers place at the colliery on 30 December 1903 when a large stone fell upon him and he was killed; he lies buried in Spennymoor (Rock Road) Cemetery.

William Walton's name is commemorated on Spennymoor and Tudhoe Colliery war memorials.

John

Thanks John.

I had copies of all of the letters on 6 DLI I could find but I think I've deleted them in error before I've fully finished looking at them all.

Craig

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9 minutes ago, Hett65 said:

He was attendant to Capt Stanley Badcock of Bishop Auckland, who is reported missing'.

Which would indicate Walton was B Company.


Craig

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Craig

I typed the Lieutenants name as Haythorwaite, do you know if this is the correct spelling of his surname.

John

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Quote

Haythorwaite

Haythornthwaite. There were two, both Lts in April 1915. Arnold and, I think the other was Herbert.

Craig

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1 hour ago, Hett65 said:

William Walton's name is commemorated on Spennymoor and Tudhoe Colliery war memorials.

Hi John I thought you may have researched him being a Spennymoor lad, thanks for the added info

He is also commemorated on Middlesbrough war memorial 

His re-married mother having resided there after the war

an extract from my notes

William can be found on the 1911 census aged 18 residing with his re-married mother Mary Atkinson previously Walton and step father George Atkinson at 23 Old Post Office Road Spennymoor employed as a colliers driver lad

The register of soldiers’ effects list his mother Mary as the sole legatee of his effects

The claimant of a dependant’s pension is listed as Mrs Mary (mother) of 6 Oxford Street Spennymoor later of 16 Nixon Street Middlesbrough

regards Ray

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Herbert Haythornthwaite seems to have been B Company Lt, at least for this period in time.

Quote

 

On the night of the 27th April, A Company with about twenty men of D Company were sent to fill a gap between the Hampshires and the Shropshires, where they dug themselves in. The following day Capt. A.P. Cummins and Capt. D. Park were seriously wounded by a sniper firing from behind their line, and 2nd Lieut. Blenkinsop took over command till the arrival at night of Lieut. R.V. Hare. C.S.M. Lancaster of A Company was also badly wounded.

 

 

The men on the left of B Company, under Lieut. H.C.W. Haythornthwaite during these days, were in very close touch with the enemy, being separated from them in the same trench by a block about ten yards wide. They were the first of the Battalion to use rifle grenades, which were taken up to them by a party of the Buffs. On the night of the 28th April No. 6 Platoon was sent up to join the Company, but it was found that they could not be accommodated in the trench and they returned to Battalion Headquarters. All through this period the Company was existing under very difficult conditions. The evacuation of wounded was almost impossible, and Corpl. Hardy did excellent work in establishing an aid post and attending to wounded for four days and nights. He was subsequently mentioned in dispatches for this good work. Their only rations were taken up on the night of the 28th by a party of No. 9 Platoon under Corpl. Hall, and water was collected from shell holes in empty ammunition boxes.

 

 

Craig

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Ray

Thanks for the extra information, I did not realise he was recorded on Middlesbrough war memorial and that his mother had re-married.

Craig

Thanks for the correct spelling of the Lieutenants name.

John

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