Rank: Private
Service No: 27273
Date of Death: 02/11/1916
Age: 20
Regiment/Service: Essex Regiment 10th Bn.
Grave Reference O. II. A. 1.

Additional Information:

Born in 1896 at Gillingham, son of Walter (Engine Fitter at the GER Works) and Lusaner Jane Witherick. 1911: With his family at 5, Denmark Terrace Carnarvon Road South Woodford, and later Ellerslie 25, West Grove Woodford Green.

An Associate of the Royal College of Organists. From the age of 14 he played organ at St Philip and James Church, and St Mary’s. He had been organist at St Matthews Bethnal Green for four years since his 18th birthday, prior to joining up at Epping.

On 21-10-16 “B” and “C” Companies of 10 Essex joined others in assaulting and taking the Western part of Regina Trench (called Stuff Trench), and few casualties were incurred. They had advanced at 12.06 and twenty minutes later were in the trench. German Gunners shelled the assembly trenches in response, which gave the attackers time to dig in and consolidate their gains. However shells began falling in Regina Trench about one hour later. The shelling became more intense on 22-10-16, especially from the direction of Loupart Wood, which enfiladed the trench. In two days the Battalion suffered 18 killed and 102 wounded.

On 01-11-16 the patrols sent into no man’s land were held back by artillery fire, patrols the next night reported no enemy, and on 03-11-16 a small enemy working party was dispersed.

At some stage during this period, Walter Witherick was wounded. He died in 11 Stationary Hospital Field Hospital at Rouen on 03-11-16 from “serious wounds sustained in action a few days before”.

Memorial: Rolls of Honour: St Barnabas Church. St Mary’s Church.
Separate Folder: NO.
Principal Sources: Ancestry. Woodford Times
Qualification: Borough Resident.