Walter Hutchinson's Diary - The Somme 1916

Cutting from The Daily Telegraph March 2007 - Walter pictured with his wife Evelyn

Early in 2007, it was reported in the national press that a private diary belonging to a Private Walter Hutchinson was to be auctioned

The Guardian gave the following report which provides the background to the auction. Under the title

Soldier's diary recalls horror of the Somme - (The Guardian, Thursday 8 March 2007)

"For almost a century, poets and historians have struggled to describe the carnage of July 1 1916, the bloodiest day in the history of the British army. Personal tales are easily lost amid the colossal death toll of the first day of the battle of the Somme. Of the 120,000 British soldiers who scrambled out of the trenches to march into a wall of fire, almost 20,000 died.

But a blunt account of the initial offensive by a grocer from South Yorkshire, which sold at auction yesterday for £7,360, goes some way to explaining what it was like to be there that day.

Not a lot is known about Walter Hutchinson, a stretcher-bearer in the 10th Battalion, York & Lancaster Regiment, who wrote the diary during the first three weeks of the battle. He is said to have been a mild-mannered and bespectacled man who stood 5ft 5in tall. He had a wife, Evelyn, and a daughter, Connie. He retired in the Lincolnshire seaside resort of Cleethorpes before he died in the 1980s.

But thanks to his diary, a few facts are indisputable. It reveals that Walter's "first taste of gas" came on the morning the deadliest battle of the first world war commenced, after he and his comrades crossed a marsh and clambered into a communication trench. His description of the bloodshed that unfolded, repeated again and again in the diary, is as moving a phrase as any other. It was "an awful sight".

"We hadn't gone far up the trench before we came across three of our own lads lying dead," he wrote on that first day. "Their heads been badly damaged by a shell. Their names were Voice and Webster Brothers. We had to go scrambling over the poor fellows - in and out, in and out. It was one of the awful sights I had ever witnessed and at this point our own lads was coming out wounded as we was following them in."

The "lads" were ordered to "dump everything and fix bayonets" and fight. "We obeyed the order like men."

Walter was hit on the hip by a piece of shell, but "kept running after the boys".

"We then landed at the trench we was making for and found out it was our own original front line trench. And we saw some awful sights in it for a lot of wounded men had not been got out there."

The following day Walter peeled back the a sheet from the corpse he believed was covering his pal Charley: "But I went and lifted the oil-sheet from over his face and found that it was Harold Beecher. And I asked questions about him and found out he was badly wounded Saturday night and died early on Sunday morning. He was a clerk in civil life. I was very sorry for we had been good chums from the day we arrived in France."

He and his colleagues were rescued, but spent three days without food.

On the third day, amid a lull in the fighting, Walter and his fellow men "got to work and dug some graves for our poor comrades. We buried the poor fellows as respectful as we could under the circumstances". There were more burials the next day. And the next."It was an awful sight. We then got the poor fellows buried which was a very difficult task for shells was dropping all around us.

The diary, which fetched 10 times its estimate, was sold at Dix Noonan Webb auctioneers in London by Walter's niece, Jeanette Ive, 75, from Wimborne, Dorset. It went to a private bidder alongside a Military Medal and a pocket watch presented to him in 1917."

Other newspapers also carried similar articles, but what I was most curious about was information relating to the soldiers mentioned in Walter's Diary who were his friends and colleagues. 

The most detailed summary of the Diary I have found is on the excellent Great war Forum. It covers the period 21st June to 7th July 1916 which Walter rewrote probably from hospital.
The Diary of Private W. Hutchinson, 10th Battalion, York & Lancaster Regiment. 63rd Brigade 21st Division (t/f 37th Division 8 July 1916)
Foreword
The diary has been transcribed verbatim and without editing except for the punctuation which has been amended only where clarity required. Where I have made additions they are in [brackets]. Hutchinson also began most words with a capital letter which has not been replicated and dropped in full stops in what appears a random fashion. These minor inclusions aside, the diary is transcribed exactly as written. Where Hutchinson has
started a new paragraph or continued writing from one day to the next without a line break then this is manifested as such in the transcription.


Wednesday June 21st 1916
We arrived at La Havre about 3/30am on a boat named St. Tudno (1) and stayed on the boat untill (sic) 7 A.M. Then we left for the base at Harfleur driving there about 10 A.M. We then had a roll call and inspection and after we drew our rifles and baynt and some other stuff we did nothing else that day only draw blankets and go to the pictures that night.
On June 22.16 Thursday
We was up by 5/20 Am. Had a roll call at 6/oc and breakfast 6/30, we then fell in at 7/30 and marched off to the parade ground some two miles away up a mounting side we had a few lectures on different things and then had luncheon. In the afternoon we had a lecture on gass (sic) and then we were through the gass chambers. We arrived back to the camp at 4/oc then we had tea and finished the day.
Friday June 23rd 16
We again got up at 5/30 in the morning, had breakfast at 6/30; at 7/30 we fell in and went to the Bull Ring and as soon as we got there rain started to come down very heavy and the nco’s that we had never gave us the order to put our boots on we was marched back to camp at 1 o/c as wet as if we had been drawn through a river. We sat down in the tents until clothes dried.
Saturday June 24th 16
We again got up at 5/30 and fell in at 9/oc for the Ring as rain had fallen very heavily earlier on . We left the Bull ring at 10/c to go for a route march, we arrived back at 2/30 and finished for the day.
June Sunday 25/16
We was up at the usual time, had breakfast at 6/oc and struck our tents by 8/oc. We then laid down on the ground for we had had orders not to go away as we had to keep falling in to draw different articles. In the afternoon I did a bit of washing for we was going up the line later on that night. We fell in at 6/oc and had a short service and a singsong and then dismissed while 9/oc we fell in and marched of (sic) to La Havre a distance of about
6 miles arriving there midnight; we then boarded a train not knowing were we was going.
Monday June 26th 16
We left La Havre at 2/oc am. We travelled until Monday at 12/oc then the train stopped and we made some tea and had a feed. That was our first bite from Sunday teatime. After about an hours (sic) rest we again started on our journey. We arrived somewhere at a rail head at 8/oc at night. We then set off for a rest camp at Toutencourt arriving there at 10/oc. We then had tea and got down.
Tuesday June 27th 16
We then had a C/6 (?) inspection and then we rested for the remainder of the day until 8/30 at night. We then fell in and marched to a place called Warloy arriving there at midnight.
Wednesday June 28/16
We got up by 8/oc as we found being on the ground in a barn was not over grand. We had a rifle inspections at 11/oc and finished for the day. We was allowed to go out.
Thursday June 29th 16
We got up at 8/oc and had a rifle inspection at 10/oc and we did nothing else during the day only feed our faces as food was plentiful and go out in the village as we had a mind.
Friday June 30th 16
We got up at 8/oc had a rifle inspection at 10/oc and we was allowed out until teatime at 6/oc. The Captain spoke to us just a few words and at 10/oc we fell in and marched to the essembly (sic) trenches.
Saturday July 1.16
We arrived at the essembly trenches in Auvloy Wood (Aveluy) at 3/oc am. That was a distance of 10 miles and we was fairly done up for we had our full marching order and a shovel and some bombs to carry. We rested there until about 10/oc then we marched off to the trenches and as soon as we had got on the road we saw wounded men coming back in hundreds and there was some sights amongst them. But on we went passing the wounded men every yard we went and at last we came to a communication trench and at that point there was dead horses and mules all over. We was just going to get into the trench when old Fritz sent us a very strong tear shell and we had to look sharp and get our goggles on. Just at that point shells of all descriptions was dropping around us. We got in the trench ad begun to file up but before we had gone far we got the order to retreat at the double and then the order came again to advance and before we had gone  very far up the trench an order was passed down to the effect that a bad accident had occurred and we had not to get the wind up and when we got to the spot we found it was three of our chums that had had their heads blown off – named Voice and Bros Websters – and we had to get past them as fast as we could. And our own lads were filing out of the trenches wounded as we was filing in and it was a very awkward job getting up the trench for at this point stretchers was being bought down in quick succession and some
of the poor lads was arms short, some legs short and others with the jaws blown off. Before we had got much further we got the order to dump everything and fix bayonets as we had got to fight for it. We then got out of the trench and ran across the open about 380 yards distance. I was running over a trench grid and it broke and let me in. I got out of the trench and ran after the others but before I had gone far a shell burst quite close and I was hit on the hip. It did not seem much and I still kept going as fast as I possibly could for I wanted to get somewhere where it was a bit safer then the open. At last we reached the German front line trench and there we saw some awful sights. The first one was a man with his jaw blown off and just past him was another one that we thought was dead but we found out that he was wounded very bad and he was just dieing and further
up we saw a dead man covered over with a white sheet and further up we saw 2 men buried. One had his head and neck just out of the ground and the other had his hand and wrist just showing. Next we saw our lads bringing in a few prisoners and old Fritz was shelling us something terrible. At this point we had just quickly got into our own front line trench but it had been a very difficult task and we had had a lot of lads wounded and killed. I was then just in a small trench with some other chaps on guard with L/Cl Avelyn who afterwards got wounded and went away. We was there several hours and first one and the another kept getting partly buried. But some of us was hurt after the Corp left us. We stayed there while 9 o/c at night and then we went to see if we could find anything of our Company. But we couldn’t trace them anywhere and at last we heard that they had gone out of the trenches for the losses had been so heavy. But we did not know at the time whether that would be true or not so we got with a dugout and stayed there the night and there was some wounded men in that dugout that had been there since early morning. Well we stayed there the night but never got a wink of sleep for shell was dropping around and the rats was running round is. But any rate we contented ourselves until Sunday morning. It was the worst day that I had ever witnessed.
Sunday July 2nd 1916
I was looking out of the dugout about 66/oc am and I saw one of our officers (Mr Beaumont) coming up towards me and I asked him where the company was as there was four of us stranded and he told me to wait there and he would call for us and he wasn’t gone five minutes before he returned and took us to the boys. He also told us that there had been a roll call and that we was booked down as missing but he said he was pleased
to find us alive. When we got to the coy which was only about 200 yds away, the boys told me that one of my pals had got wounded late the night before and that he was dead. Well that did put me in a sweat for I did not [know] whether it was Chittum or Schneider.
But I asked where he was laid and I went down and took the sheet off him and I found it a young man called Beecher [Harold Beecher as mentioned in earlier diary version] from Barnsley. We was all good pals and had slept always in the same hut since we left Hylton. I was very sorry for he was such a good loving lad and very nice in all his ways. I hadn’t been there above half an hour when I and seven more men was put to guard another trench and we stayed there until 6/oc. But before we had been there very long four of the men was completely buried. We got to work and dug them out. None of them was really hurt but two of them had to go out with the shock and it got rather hot for us so one of the men went for the officer – and he gave the orders to stick it at all costs.  But the officer, Mr Cattle came and sat with us untill [sic] we were moved to the extream [sic] left. We had not been there very long before I saw old Charley for the first time since Saturday morning when we run across the open. And we did make a fuss of one another. Not many minutes after I saw one of our lads killed with a shell and another wounded. The one that was killed was called Bill Hall from Rawmarch. He also trained with us at the castle (3). We had several casualties before we had been there long for I think shells was raining on us faster than they had done before and the cry for stretcher bearers was been called out all the time.
Monday July 3rd 16
We was still getting it very hot and they had never ceased during the night. About 10/oc there was Chittum and sergeant Steel and myself all talking when a shell came and killed the sergeant and it both Chittum and me to such a pitch that neither of us could speak for fully ten minutes. But any rate we came round and was very little worse for the shock. We then covered the sergeant up with his oil sheet and left him until we could
bury him. About half an hour after that I was sat down on the side of the travis [traverse] and another bursted about ten yards from me and wounded Corpl Ruddlesdin and another man. Poor Ruddlesdin was wounded bad in both legs, one of them being very near off and soon after that I was fetched into one of the travises [sic] on guard. And as soon as I got in I found that one of our chums had been badly wounded in the same travis. His name was Hinchcliffe. He was another of the Castle boys. The muscle of his arm had been blown away and his head cut slight. I just wished him a quick recovery and hoped that he would get to Blighty with it. I did my spell of two hours in the travis then I was sent into a dugout for 3 hours rest but there was no chance of rest. Just after that we heard that our guns had put one of Fritz [sic] ammunition trains out of order and he
stopped shelling us for about 3 hours. During that time we got to work and dug some graves and buried our dead comrades and each one had as decent a burial as it was possible under the circumstances. Though we had no one to read the service over them we did our best. I then went on guard again at 6 o’clock and stayed until 12/oc midnight. We was then expecting being relieved by the KOYLIs at any time.

Tuesday July 4th 1916
About 10/c am one of the officers ran up and asked for a drink of water. One or our lads handed him a bottle and after he had regained his breath he told us that Captain Goodall had been badly wounded and there was a stretcher sent down at once. And at 1/30 Fritz started shelling for all he was worth and he sent several lots of liquid fire over at us but didn’t do much damage with it. At 2/30 the Koylis arrived and we began preparing for moving. And they took us all round the trenches for every man to pick up a pack as we had thrown ours away on Saturday. We arrived back to Aouvloy (Aveluy) Wood at about 5/oc and we made some tea and got some food, the first I had tasted from early Saturday morn I had nothing except three bottles of water. Soon after that it started raining very heavy and every one was soon wet through and we did not get any sleep. The rain cleared off about 6/oc at night and we had just made bivy [put up bivouacs] with our oil sheets and just ready for getting down when we was called out on a working party – so off we went under the officer Mr Cattle and we had to file up the trench and we was up to the chest in water every step we took. It took our breath but we waded through it and got to work clearing the trenches out.
Wednesday July 5/16
We arrived back from the working party at 4/am. We at once made a fire and blasted dry our clothes. We also made some tea and had breakfast. Then we got down to rest and sleeped [sic] until 10/oc we then started to move our things to another part of the wood and before we done old Fritz started shelling us again. We had several lads wounded in that lot. At 6 o’clock they marched us off to some reserve trenches again and it seemed fairly quiet there so we got down and had a sleep.
Thursday July 6th 16
About 3 o/c am a bombing party went out between 80 & 90 (7) and all the officers was missing. Also the Colonel was amongst the missing. Mr Cattle was amongst the missing. That was another severe blow only 9 returned. The rest part of the day was fairly quiet. A new officer reached us about 6o/c called Mr Day. Our officer, Mr. Dorment, had to go out of the trenches ill on Saturday night. He seemed a very nice man – we got down to
eat and had a fairly good night. [this next sentence has been crossed out and scribbled over]. We brought back what we could carry but we had been so long gone that a search party was sent out to find us but had not got far before they met us. We managed…
Friday July 7th 16
Was fairly quiet (10) until about 6/oc pm and Charley and I was talking to three men some 10 yards away when a shell dropped right into the trench and killed the three. They was simply blown to bits. We at once sent for the officers and they came up and thn we got the poor chaps buried which was a very difficult task for shells was dropping all round us. We then kept very low in the trenches until nine o/c. Then I went with some  ther chaps to fetch the rations up. The shells was so vivid that we got split up and only five of us landed to the ration dump. One of the lads got back and reported that we had all got blown up. [It is reasonable to assume that the excised passage earlier should have been at the end of this paragraph instead of the earlier and hence its deletion].


1. HMS St. Tudno was a ferry converted to a troopship.
2. Appendix 5 below (copied from http://john-dillon.c...lancs/10th.html) details the official history and it would seem that wood to which Hutchinson refers may have been Round
Wood.
3. Hylton Castle was used as an army training base during the war.
4. This incident has numerous crossings out throughout as if deleting the record though it remains clearly legible. It seems unlikely that, given the total official casualties for the battalion that day was less than total asserted loss of the bombing party, Hutchinson later learned of his error and erased it.
5. Throughout the diary Hutchinson has spelt ‘quiet’ as ‘quite’.

Appendix 1.

The first page of the diary states “From Doris with my very best love to Walter Aug 23-16” followed by two pages that have been torn from the diary. Both pages have a 0.5cm strip left at the binding show traces of writing. The diary itself is 3.5” x 5.5” and contains over 80pp of closely written notes in a neat pencil hand.

Appendix 2.
The diary was purchased in auction and sold by Jeanette Ive, 75, from Wimborne, Dorset who was Private Hutchinson's niece by marriage and was handed the collection when Connie, her cousin, died two years ago. "I was amazed," she said yesterday. "I knew that the medal existed and I knew vaguely about the watch. I didn't know anything about the notebook until I received it from the executor of my cousin's will. "I remember him as a very quiet man. He was a stretcher bearer during the war when he got the medal. He wasn't the sort of person you would really imagine doing anything really brave - but he obviously was." Private Hutchinson survived the war and returned home where he and his wife Evelyn had a daughter, Constance, in 1919. The couple went on to run a grocer's shop in Maltby before retiring to Cleethorpes where Mr Hutchinson died in his 80s.

Appendix 3.

The auction blurb read thus: ‘an emotive Great War ‘Western Front’ M.M. awarded to Private W. Hutchinson, 10th Battalion, York & Lancaster Regiment, who kept a superb diary recording his exploits on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Military Medal, G.V.R. (32172 Pte., 10/Y. & L. R.) old silver chain soldered to either end of suspension rod, this 66cm long; together with a 9 carat gold half-hunter pocket watch, the inside
back cover inscribed ‘The Great War, Presented to Walter Hutchinson by the Conisborough Heroes Committee in recognition of his winning the M.M., Oct. 5, 1917’; two original photographs including recipient in uniform; and a highly emotive and descriptive pocket diary kept by the recipient between 21 June 1916 and 7 July 1916, including his participation on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, very fine. "

On the 1st July 1916 - The First Day of The Somme - Walter describes the death of three of his chums "an order was passed down to the effect that a bad accident had occurred and we had not to get the wind up and when we got to the spot we found it was three of our chums that had had their heads blown off – named Voice and Bros Websters"

I found the brothers on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website

Name: WEBSTER, GEORGE ERNEST
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: York and Lancaster Regiment
Unit Text: 1st/5th Bn.
Date of Death: 01/07/1916
Service No: 235
Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 14 A and 14 B.
Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Name: WEBSTER, WALTER
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: York and Lancaster Regiment
Unit Text: 1st/5th Bn.
Date of Death: 01/07/1916
Service No: 2516
Additional information: Husband of Elizabeth Ann Peate (formerly Webster), of 37, Swallow St., Attercliffe, Sheffield.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 14 A and 14 B.
Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL  

But I could find no trace of Walter's other chum "Voice" - there were four listed on the website for 1916 - but none of them were listed as dying on 1st July. However using the technique of "sound-like" I eventually entered the surname "Voyse" in the search engine and found the following entry

Name: VOYSE, JOSEPH
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: York and Lancaster Regiment
Unit Text: 1st/5th Bn.
Age: 34
Date of Death: 01/07/1916
Service No: 1280
Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 14 A and 14 B.
Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

All the details fit with Walter's description of the three deaths - I also believe that Joseph Voyse was from Sheffield - the 1901 Census only has one entry for a Joseph Voyse and that is for a 19 year old assistant housekeeper who was both born and working in Sheffield. A check on the FreeBMD site confirmed the Census entry - Births Mar 1882 Voyse Joseph Sheffield Volume9c  Page525. There is a tragic postscript to Josephs death - see note 2   

The next casualty Walter mentions is a day later (2nd July 1916) "Beecher [Harold Beecher as mentioned in earlier diary version] from Barnsley. We was all good pals and had slept always in the same hut since we left Hylton. I was very sorry for he was such a good loving lad and very nice in all his ways."  To date I have not been able to locate his details. Later on Walter's diary records that he "saw one of our lads killed with a shell and another wounded. The one that was killed was called Bill Hall from Rawmarch. He also trained with us at the castle". He is recorded on the CWGC site

Name: HALL, WILLIAM
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: York and Lancaster Regiment
Unit Text: 1st/5th Bn.
Age: 25
Date of Death: 02/07/1916
Service No: 5092
Additional information: Son of John and Harriet Hall, of 36, Upper Haugh, Rawmarsh, Rotherham, Yorks.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 14 A and 14 B.
Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

A day later on Monday 3rd July 1916 Walter records that at "About 10/oc there was Chittum and sergeant Steel and myself all talking when a shell came and killed the sergeant and it both Chittum and me to such a pitch that neither of us could speak for fully ten minutes. But any rate we came round and was very little worse for the shock. We then covered the sergeant up with his oil sheet and left him until we could bury him"

I believe that the Serjeant who died was

Name: STEELE, JOSEPH OXLEY.
Rank: Serjeant
Regiment/Service: York and Lancaster Regiment
Unit Text: 1st/5th Bn.
Date of Death: 03/07/1916
Service No: 2387
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 14 A and 14 B.
Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

From the scant information I have to date, Joseph enlisted at Barnsley and lived at Silkstone (near Barnsley).

In August 2012 I received this fascinating e-mail from a descendent of Joseph who had come across this article

Ref: Walter Hutchinson's Diary / Sergeant Joseph Oxley Steele - Thiepval, Somme - July 1916.
 

I hope this email reaches you. Joseph Steele's younger sister was my Grandmother, Lillian Steele. After a break of several years, I have recently started researching my father's Yorkshire lineage once again for my family tree. I had put in some serious investigative work this past week and was about to take a break. Then, as I was casually Googling last thing this evening, I stumbled across your website. What I found has left me dumbstruck.

 
For several years now, I have known that Joseph died on the Somme. My father, who passed away this February, originally gave me the information in about 1996. That initial discovery haunted me for some time, as I had been a tour guide in Europe previously - never for one moment had I imagined that a close relative had perished in the very battlefields I was driving through with my American tour groups. If I have been at home, I have placed a poppy on our local war memorial in Hove each Armistice Day in Joe's memory. I have also taken my children to say thank you to 'Great Uncle Joe' at the War Memorial.
 
I had managed to track the movement of the 1/4th York & Lancasters using military records, however there has always been one vital piece of the jigsaw missing. How did Joe actually die? All we knew was, like so many, that he was 'killed in action.' Now the jigsaw is complete and I thank you for inadvertently helping us to solve a family mystery. I'm sure my dad's having a good old chuckle somewhere.
 
I have some background information on Joseph which may be of interest to you, as well as his military photograph and letters home from his training in Lichfield in 1914. Joseph was born at Fall Head Farm just north of Silkstone, where his family lived throughout the Great War. I have the family bible with his name in it and the grandfather clock from the Farm House. Joseph enlisted in September 1914 at Barnsley Drill Hall. Then, after basic training, his Brigade moved up to York Assembly Halls, before their entrainment to Folkestone, and on to Boulogne. He was made Sergeant in December 1915 and was 21 years old when he died. According to family legend his mother, Lucy, never recovered from the news and died of a stroke two years later.
 
I'd always wondered whether he'd been blown to pieces in 'The Devil's Cauldron' as The Times described Thiepval, or machine gunned, or perhaps met another fate. Now I know. His name, as you found out, is on the Thiepval Monument, which suggests that he doesn't have a marked grave of his own. I suppose that once he'd died, his body was lost in the melee. Maybe I should look into this a bit further. If you have any suggestions, I'd be very grateful. His name is also listed on the War Memorial in Dodworth, near Silkstone and Barnsley where he grew up.

 The next person I have been able to trace is the Captain Goodall who was wounded on Tuesday -   "About 10/c am one of the officers ran up and asked for a drink of water. One or our lads handed him a bottle and after he had regained his breath he told us that Captain Goodall had been badly wounded and there was a stretcher sent down at once." I am positive that the Captain who was injured eventually succumbed to his wounds ten days later. The CWGC records

Name: GOODALL, MARCUS HERBERT
Rank: Captain
Regiment/Service: York and Lancaster Regiment
Unit Text: 1st/5th Bn.
Age: 21
Date of Death: 14/07/1916
Additional information: Son of the Rev. Canon Goodall and Mrs. Goodall, of The Vicarage, Rotherham, Yorks. A senior prefect and scholar of Marlborough College.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: I. B. 55.
Cemetery: PUCHEVILLERS BRITISH CEMETERY

It appears that Captain Goodall was acquainted with the war poet and writer Seigfried Sassoon. A website that details Sassoon's war career reveals that
"Sassoon made friends with another former pupil from that school – Captain Marcus Herbert Goodall. (In Memoirs of An Infantry Officer, Sassoon calls him "Allgood".). Goodall was an officer in the 1/5th York and Lancaster Regiment and following wounding in action near Thiepval  (Somme) on 14th July 1916, he was taken to the Casualty Clearing Station at Puchevillers where sadly he died. He is one of nearly 1800 men buried at the nearby CWGC cemetery. Sassoon’s tribute to his friend resulted in the unpublished poem Elegy For Marcus Goodall."

Captain Goodall was also unique amongst the fatalities mentioned by Walter in his diary inasmuch as he is buried at Puchevillers British Cemetery. All the others have, to use the sad phrase, "no known grave" and are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial

The final soldier that Walter mentions is the officer "Cattle" who disappeared on 6th July 1916 whilst on a "bombing party". He listed on the CWGC site as being killed on Friday 7th July 1916. 

Name: CATTLE, EUSTACE SHIPSTONE
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Regiment/Service: York and Lancaster Regiment
Unit Text: 1st/5th Bn.
Age: 20
Date of Death: 07/07/1916
Awards: M C
Additional information: Son of Frederick and Caroline Cattle, of Ravenswood, Heanor, Derbyshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 14 A and 14 B.
Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

The Church of St Lawrence in Heanor in Derbyshire has a window - The Cattle Window -  dedicated to the memory of Eustace and his brother James who died a year later. It appears from the web-site that the window is awaiting relocation. There is also a website that details his ancestors - on that his is listed as Bernard Shipstone Cattle and the compiler is at a loss to know why he is listed as Eustace 

Walter and Evelyn - see note 3

Notes

1. From Y&L Regimental Museum Guide & Short History

During the 1st World War the Y&L regiment raised 57,000 men of all ranks. Of these 48,650 became casualties and 8,814 died. The number of gallantry awarded to members of the regiment was 1,190 including four VCs. During the war the York and Lancaster were awarded 59 Battle Honours ( the largest number to an English Regiment).

2. In the course of posting this article a researcher contacted me and pointed out that just over 15 months later Joseph's younger brother Edwin was killed 

Name: VOYSE, EDWIN
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: York and Lancaster Regiment
Unit Text: 1st/5th Bn.
Age: 19
Date of Death: 07/10/1917
Service No: 204731
Additional information: Son of Thomas and Jane Elizabeth Voyse, of 100, Ripon St., Attercliffe, Sheffield.
Grave/Memorial Reference: XXI. B. 3A. Cemetery: LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY

1911 Census

Name Edwin Voyse
Relationship to Head of Household Son
Gender Male Age 13
Estimated Year of Birth 1898
Occupation School
Employed Y Working at Home N
Place of Birth Sheffield Yorkshire
Enumerator Information
Address 100 Ripon St Sheffield Parish Sheffield Town Sheffield
Type of Building Private House Number of Rooms 5 Inhabited Y
Reference RG14PN28025 RG78PN1600 RD510 SD7 ED37 SN98 Administrative County Yorkshire (West Riding) Registration District Sheffield
Registration Sub District Attercliffe Enumeration District 37

1911 Cenus

Name Joseph Voyse
Relationship to Head of Household Boarder
Condition Single Gender Male
Age 28
Estimated Year of Birth 1883 Occupation Refuse Labourer
Employed Y Working at Home N
Industry City Council Place of Birth Sheffield Yorkshire

3. Walter's wife, Evelyn, maiden name was Lindley. A family history site devoted to the Lindley's has the following information about Walter's life after the war

"Evelyn Lindley was born in 1891 and was the daughter of William Henry Lindley and Ellen Ackroyd . She was born at 16 Westfield Terrace now known as Northcliffe Road Conisbrough. She was baptised at Conisbrough St Peters Church.
Evelyn married Walter Hutchinson, who was a shop manager at Hunters Shop in Church St Conisbrough. Later they went to live at Maltby where they managed another Grocers shop. They remained there until they retired to Cleethorpes were they lived out there lives. They had one daughter called Constance known as Connie. Connie married Harold Hunsley who was a Photographer in the Second World War and after being demobbed he set up his own Photography business in Maltby 

Surname First name(s) Spouse District Vol Page
Marriages March 1918
Hutchinson Walter Lindley Doncaster 9c 1276
Lindley Evelyn Hutchinson Doncaster 9c 1276

4. Walter's pal 'Chittum' mentioned in the diary entries may be be a Charles Chitt 'A' m, Pte. 242098 5th York and Lancs, enlisted on 11/12/15, discharged on 23/3/1919. No papers survive for him, there is a card for him on Ancestry with the above information, It also it states 'list' so he was injured sometime. Cant find a Charles 'Chittum' on 1901 census but there is a Charles 'Chitt A m' as a boarder.

5. Mentioned alongside "Chittum" in the Diary Entry for Sunday 2nd July 1916. I cannot be sure but there is a strong possibility that Walter lost another of his pals

Name: SCHNEIDER, JOHN
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: York and Lancaster Regiment
Unit Text: 1st/4th Bn.
Age: 26
Date of Death: 09/10/1917
Service No: 32190
Additional information: Son of Frederick and Elizabeth Schneider, of 27, Rowms Lane, Swinton, Rotherham.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 125 to 128.
Memorial: TYNE COT MEMORIAL

More research will be needed on this to confirm that my suspicions are correct

Sources

Daily Telegraph

Daily Mail

Sheffield History Forum

The Guardian, Thursday 8 March 2007

http://www.1914-18.co.uk

BBC

Y&L Regimental Museum Guide & Short History

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