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Remembered Today:

How old?


Guest dragon55

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At New Irish Farm recently I came across Walter Wild Speight, age 40. In some books he is listed as being the oldest man to die on the Salient and his age was supposed to be 62. Who is right?

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I had a quick look on 1837online.com for both 1877 & 1855. There is a Walter Speight in both years, which is not much help really. However, if you carry out a more detailed search between those years I am sure you will find him. That middle name is a real give away, there cant be too many like that.

Be interested to know what you find, because if you are right and he was only 40, then who was the oldest man to die in the salient.

Good Luck

PAUL JOHNSON :ph34r:

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The ages in the old CWGC registers and on headstones were supplied by the next-of-kin and (in theory) should be correct.

However, we know that many men lied about their age (either upwards or downwards) and the n-o-k often continued this deception - or just made a mistake/didn't know.

Also, relatives sometimes rounded up or down the ages. I have found many ages given on private war grave headstones in the UK that differ slightly (one year) from those in CWGC records. Large discrepancies are usually due to deliberate deception or simple clerical error.

The fact that so many WW1 soldiers have their age missing from CWGC records is due to the n-o-k not returning their Final Verification Forms.

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  • 2 years later...
auchonvillerssomme

Hello

I have just noticed some postings about Walter Wild Speight who is buried in New irish farm cemetery and was listed as the oldest soldier to die on the Salient. Just for information I discovered Walter Wild Speights real age while researching the First War losses of Hatfield Woodhouse in Doncaster. His details and correct age is stated on his mothers grave within the cemetery. I pbtained his death and birth certificates and sent them to the CWGC who changed his age on his stone in New Irish Farm. I think its probably just a case of misreading date of birth or age when collating the information, there being such a big difference.

Any further enquiries please get in touch mickbrand@hotmail.com

Mick

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Jim Strawbridge
I have found many ages given on private war grave headstones in the UK that differ slightly (one year) from those in CWGC records.

I have been researching WW1 female casualties for a while and have tried, where possible, to obtain the casualty's date of birth. If a casualty was born, say 30th November 1900 and died 10th June 1918 I would say that she was age 17. However the CWGC seem to take one year from the other making her 18 ie 1918 minus 1900. I think that this is why there is often a years difference sometimes.

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auchonvillerssomme

I agree, even with Walter Wild Speights age I believe he was actually 41, he is now listed as 40.

Did anyone ever find out who is actually the oldest serviceman killed on the Salient?

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