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1894 –1917

Early Life

WALTER EDWARD WALLIS was born in October 1894 in Great Waltham, Essex, one of nine children born to David and Mary Ann Wallis (née Buck). He was baptised in the Parish Church on the 4th November 1894. Walter had four brothers and four sisters and was David and Ann’s second youngest son.


David and Mary were married on the 20th November 1880 in the Parish Church. David was a Labourer in the village and Mary a Servant from Chelmsford, born at Good Easter.


In 1901, the family were living at ‘The Rose and Crown Inn’, Minnow End, with David’s father, also called David, who was the Innkeeper and had taken over the Inn around 1881, from a Mr “Happy Harris”. Walter was now 6 years old.  


On the 7th May1904, David (senior) died and was buried in the Churchyard in the village alongside his wife, Mary Ann who died in 1895.


By 1911 the Census shows that David, the son, is now the Innkeeper of The Rose and Crown Inn, living with his wife and seven of their nine children in seven rooms. Walter is 16 years old and a Farm Labourer. Ernest George, his elder brother was working and living in Wimbledon, as a Grocer’s assistant and his eldest sister, Lydia was working as a Domestic Servant in Braintree.

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Walter E Wallis.jpg


Military Life

Walter enlisted as a Private, Regimental No. 28149 into the Norfolk Regiment, possibly as one of Kitchener’s Army recruits. Later he was recorded as being with the 1/7th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment with a new Service No. 41385.

At the beginning of October 1917, the Regiment were in Flanders at Zutkerque, where they marched on the 1st to Reigersburg Camp and found a working party of 2 Officers and 100 other ranks for working on buried cables in the vicinity of Spot Farm. The Regiment marched to Audricq station and left for Vlamertigne at 3pm. The men moved to dug out billets in Canal Bank, north of Ypres and took over the right front of the BDE Sector of the line from the 1/4th Royal Berkshire Regiment. The weather was very bad.


Taking Wallemole was the objective but the attack was held up by rifle and machine gun fire, but the Regiment eventually took Adler FM and Trench to the north but failed in their objective.

Death and Memorial


Walter was killed on the 5th October 1917, aged 23 years and his body was never found. He was one of 22 missing in action.

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He is ‘Remembered with Honour’ at Tyne Cot Memorial at Zonnebeke, West Flanders, Belgium. Panel 75-77

Walter is also remembered on the War Memorial

in Great Waltham.

Walter is also named on the kerbstones of his grandparents’ grave in the Churchyard.


Later that month, his brother, David Charles, whilst serving with the South Wales Borderers, was wounded by shrapnel.

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UK, Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929

Mary, his mother, received the total sum of £3.10s.6d. on the 18th February 1918 and a further 7s.4d on the 2nd April 1918.

She received a Gratuity payment of £3 on the 19th November 1919.


Walter was awarded the Victory Medal and the British Medal.

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Mary took over the Licensee of the Rose and Crown when her husband died and was assisted by her son William, who also acted as the Village Postman.

David injured in the war married Gertrude Alice Mourn at the Parish Church on the 29th October 1924. They lived at South Street and their son David Curtis was born in 1934.

Walter’s father died in 1931 and his mother in 1944 and are buried in the churchyard.

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