WALTER WELLS (1896 - 1917) - A SOLDIER FROM SHEFFIELD
In November 2014 I was working in Walkley Cemetery (Friends of Walkley Cemetery). The section we were clearing was section B and during the course of the clearance I came across the family grave of the WELLS family
Photo taken Saturday 14th November 2014 - Walkley Cemetery Sheffield
IN LOVING MEMORY OF ANN THE BELOVED WIFE OF EDWARD WELLS WHO DIED AUG 11 1896 AGED 55 YEARS
ALSO OF THE ABOVE NAMED EDWARD WELLS WHO DIED APRIL 15 1915 AGED 84
ALSO WALTER THE BELOVED SON OF WILLIAM AND SARAH ELIZABETH WELLS AND GRANDSON OF THE ABOVE NAMED WHO DIED IN FRANCE MARCH 20 1917 AGED 20 YEARS
ALSO SARAH ELIZABETH WELLS WHO DIED FEB 29TH 1944 AGED 73 YEARS
ALSO WILLIAM WELLS HUSBAND OF THE ABOVE DIED SEPT 24TH 1944 AGED 74 YEARS
THE 1901 CENSUS
THE 1911 CENSUS
William and Sarah had nine children in total but five of them had died by the time of the census. The four remaining were 2 boys WALTER and WILLIS and 2 girls AMY and NELLIE.
But six years later their eldest surviving son WALTER died in France. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has the following entry
Service No: 202978
Date of Death: 21/03/1917
Regiment/Service: York and Lancaster Regiment 1st/4th Bn.
Grave Reference: I. B. 25.
Cemetery: MERVILLE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION
Additional Information: Son of William and Sarah Elizabeth Wells, of 44, Burnaby St., Sheffield.
Walter's service record is available and from that I was able to ascertain more details about Walter, He was 19 years of age at the time of enlistment. He was only small - 5ft 3 1/4 inches with a chest girth of 34 1/2 inches. This expanded by 2 1/2 inches. He also had "operation scars on both groins".
Walter was "attested" on 8th December 1915 and was placed in the Army Reserve from then until 10th August 1916. He was then posted to the 4th Btn (Hallamshires) Yorks and Lancs Regiment but remained at home until 1st December 1916. He was then sent to France embarking at Folkestone on 3rd December 1916 and disembarking at Boulogne. He then went to the base camp at Etaples on the 4th and joined his battalion on 10th December. He died four months later on 21st March 1917
The following is the entry from the record
Walter's death was due not only to broncho-pneumonia but also to a dental abcess and septicemia. From the form B 103 (see below) it looks as though Walter was admitted to the Casualty Clearing station on 10th March with just a "alveolar abcess"i.e. a dental abcess. No mention is made of septicemia or pneumonia at the time of admission. With the value of hindsight it looks to me that Walter had the abcess for sometime prior to 10th March but it remained untreated. By the time it was treated it was too late - septicemia had set in and in his severely weakened state he contracted broncho-pneumonia and died. He must have experienced severe pain for quite some time prior to his death.
His personal effects were returned to his family seven months later in October 1917
WALTER is remembered on Owlerton Church War Memorial and St John the Baptist Owlerton
Name(s) District Vol Page
Marriages Jun 1895
Lambert Sarah Elizabeth Ecclesall B. 9c 499
Wells William Ecclesall B. 9c 499
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Friends of Walkley Cemetery
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This page was last updated on 19/11/14 08:35