Lance Corporal Walter Haigh, 16059

  • Batt - 9
  • Unit - Leicestershire Regiment
  • Section -
  • Date of Birth - 1885
  • Died - 25/09/1916
  • Age - 31

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Source: Michael Doyle Their Name Liveth For Evermore: The Great War Roll of Honour for Leicestershire and Rutland.
He was the son of Walter Haigh, a certificated school master, born 20th June 1855 in High Bridge, Scissett, Yorkshire and baptised on the 29th December 1856 in St. Augustine’s Church, Scissett and his wife Sarah Ann Haigh (nee Wiggins, married on the 12th May 1883 in St. George’s Church, Barnsley, Yorkshire), a certificated school mistress, born 1855 in Leeds, Yorkshire. Walter, a schoolboy, was born in the 1st quarter of 1885, in Worsborough, Yorkshire, his siblings were, Joseph Reginald, a schoolboy, born in the 1st quarter of 1886 and Edward Sydney, a schoolboy, born in the 4th quarter of 1887, both his siblings were born in Worsborough, in April 1891 the family home was at School House, Highstone Road, Worsborough. In March 1901 Walter, was employed as a pupil teacher and was residing in the family home at School House, Highstone Road, Worsborough, together with his father, a certificated schoolmaster, his mother a certificated schoolmistress and his siblings, Joseph, a pupil teacher, Edward and Ida Muriel Mary, born 1895 in Worsborough. In April 1911 Walter was employed as an assistant teacher and was residing in the family home at School House, Highstone Road, Worsborough, together with his widowed father, a head teacher and his siblings, Edward, an assistant teacher and Ida. Although he used the names Walter Bertram, he was officially recorded at birth with the one Christian name of Walter. Walter’s two brother’s both died during the conflict, Edward fell in action on the 15th July 1916 and Joseph died of wounds received in action on the 29th March 1918.
Walter enlisted/attested into the Regular Army on the 17th November 1914 in Loughborough, and was allotted the service number 9/16059. He gave his place of birth as All Saint’s Loughborough and age as 29 years 325 days. His marital status was given as unmarried and his trade or calling as musician. He gave his present address as 131, Derby Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire
His medical examination took place in Loughborough on the 16th November 1914 and recorded his apparent age as 29 years 325 days, that he was 5-feet 10 inches in height, weighed 180 lbs, had a chest measurement of between 36 and 40 inches and his physical development was described as normal.
He gave his next of kin as his father, Walter Haigh, 131, Derby Road, Loughborough.
During his period of military service, the following events of note occurred: -
Joined. At Loughborough. 17/11/14.
Joined. Depot Leicestershire Regt. Pte. 19/11/14.
Posted. 9th Bn. Leicestershire Regt. 27/11/14.
Expeditionary Force, France. 29/7/15.
Appointed. Lance Corporal (unpaid). In the Field. 26/9/15.
Killed in action. In the Field. 25/9/16.
He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
In September 1940, as the result of a fire caused by an incendiary bomb at the War Office Record Store in Arnside Street, London, approximately two thirds of 6.5 million soldiers’ documents for the First World War were destroyed. Those records which survived were mostly charred or water damaged and unfit for consultation and became known as the “burnt documents.” As a consequence, the content and condition of the surviving records can range from good to extremely poor. The hand written information is, in some instances barely legible, and the number of pages that should comprise a full record, in some cases are either badly damaged or missing entirely, however where possible the available information has been transcribed so that it may at least offer the reader a little descriptive insight into some, if not all of the events and background information surrounding the period of service.
The War Diary records: 25 Sep-16 - The morning was spent in making final preparations for attack. Enemy shelling not heavy and a few casualties were sustained. At 12.35pm waves were formed up in front of trenches. At 12.37pm the advance commenced, “C” and “D” Companies in extended order, “A” and “B” Companies in artillery formation, enemy immediately commenced an extremely intense and deep barrage. At 12.45pm the first two platoons of “D” Company reached GIRD TRENCH, but sustained heavy casualties. All the Company officers becoming casualties, 2nd Lieutenant A. E. PETER, 2nd Lieutenant W. S. GILBERT, Company Sergeant Major POTTERTON were all killed, 2nd Lieutenant CLARK was wounded. The remnants of the first 2 waves of “C” Company reached GIRD TRENCH, but owing to machine gun fire from the right, and the Brigade on the right, having failed to take GIRD TRENCH, the party were all killed or wounded. 2nd Lieutenant RENNIE was killed in GIRD TRENCH, Lieutenant HENWOOD was wounded. Captain WEBB wheeled the 3rd and 4th waves of “C” Company and formed a defensive flank down SUNKEN ROAD facing right. At 1.00pm Captain WEBB was wounded and Company Sergeant Major RHODES was killed. “C” Company suffered extremely heavy casualties from machine gun fire. “A” and “B” Companies advanced and established themselves in NEW TRENCH, BULL TRENCH and PATROL TRENCH and shell holes in the rear. Battalion Headquarters advanced from LEWIS TRENCH to PATROL TRENCH. At 1.37pm Captain ALLBERRY led “A” Company forward but was immediately killed by machine gun fire from the right flank. Lieutenant HARDY, 2nd Lieutenant LEWIS, Company Sergeant Major RICE and many of Company becoming casualties through the same cause. Lieutenant Colonel HAIG was wounded in the arm in PATROL TRENCH. At 1.37pm Battalion Headquarters advanced to BULL TRENCH. At 2.00pm the remainder of Battalion Headquarters viz: Lieutenant Colonel HAIG, Captain POPHAM (8th LEICESTERSHIRE REGIMENT), Lieutenant TOOTH and 3 orderlies advanced to NEW TRENCH. Captain POPHAM and the 3 orderlies were wounded. At 2.35pm the advance hung up on account of machine gun fire and rifle fire. Enemy still occupying GIRD TRENCH on right of SUNKEN ROAD. Lieutenant Colonel HAIG and Lieutenant TOOTH advanced to NEW TRENCH and finding it empty, crossed over to GOAT TRENCH. Only dead and wounded men were found in GOAT TRENCH, accordingly Lieutenant Colonel HAIG and Lieutenant TOOTH in anticipation that the front two Companies had reached GIRD TRENCH, again advanced to PILGRIMS WAY where 40 other ranks of the 8th LEICESTERSHIRE REGIMENT were found without any officer. Lieutenant Colonel HAIG decided to remain and hold on with the 40 other ranks until reinforcements arrived to clear GIRD TRENCH on right. At 3.00pm connection with 55th Division in GIRD TRENCH on the left of PILGRIMS WAY was established. A bombing group of 8th and 9th LEICESTERSHIRE REGIMENT was organised and bombed down GIRD TRENCH on the right of PILGRIMS WAY for 50 or 60 yards. Many of the enemy were killed and 12 were taken prisoner. Owing to the lack of bombs, a block was established, and a Lewis gun posted near the block. Lieutenant Colonel HAIG sent numerous reports on the situation to Brigade Headquarters, only two of which reached Brigade, the orderlies being either killed or wounded. Heavy shelling all the time. At 8.00pm connection with Brigade was established through 2nd Lieutenant KELLY. During the night the ROYAL ENGINEERS constructed a strong point at N.32.a.1.9. The night was spent digging in and consolidating position. The enemy seemed to be working round behind PILGRIMS WAY, but did not attack. From zero (12.35pm) to 5.30pm, the enemy kept up a heavy and very deep barrage becoming intense at times.

Leicestershire Project Findings
  • Conflict - World War I
  • Other Memorials - Loughborough Carillon, War Memorial Bell Tower
Research from Michael Doyle's Their Name Liveth For Evermore
  • Unit - Leicestershire Regiment
  • Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
  • Burial Commemoration - Thiepval Mem., Somme, France
  • Born - Worsborough Dale, Yorkshire
  • Enlisted - 18/11/1914 in Loughborough, Leicestershire
  • Place of Residence - 131 Derby Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, England

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