Lieutenant Walter Fitzroy Herron

Walter Herron
Walter Herron © Newdigate Local History Society

Thank you to John Callcutt for letting us reproduce the following information, taken from his book: A Village at War. Newdigate in World War One.

Walter Fitzroy Herron was born on the 4th February 1872 at Formosa Lodge in Twickenham but grew up in Kensington where he worked as a young man as a clerk at the family wool merchants business. He was educated at Uppingham, a school near Tours and Frankfurt-on-Maine. He shared with his brother Kenneth a love of sailing, and had a boat at Cowes and on the Blackwater River. He was also clerk to Gatwick Racecourse and a member of the Vale of the White Horse Hunt.

Walter served in the South African War with the Imperial Yeomanry (Queen’s Medal with three clasps), volunteered on the outbreak of the war and was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in the 4th Dragoon Guards (Royal Irish) on the 23rd September 1914 being promoted to Lieutenant in August 1915. He went to France in March 1915, leading his men at the cavalry charge at Ypres, and also assisted in trench fighting. The war diaries for the regiment take us to the 3rd April 1916 and state that ‘Lt. Herron conducted his pioneer class at 8.30am at Cormont. In the afternoon a sad accident occurred at Inxent through the premature bursting of a rifle grenade. 2/Lieut. W. F. Herron was killed instantaneously and Corp. Wheatley and Private Deardon wounded. The C.O., Capt. (Robert William) Oppenheim, Lieut. Farley and several other ranks were quite close when the explosion occurred, but were luckily not touched. 2nd Lieut. Herron had served continuously with the Regiment since April 1915, and had during 1916, in the trenches, and in billets had performed the duties of Regimental Bomb Officer and Pioneer Officer untiringly. His loss is universally deplored. In the afternoon of the 6th April the Regiment marched to Etaples for the funeral of the late 2/Lieut. W.F. Herron. The service which took place at 3.00pm was conducted by the Rev. E. Barclay, Chaplain to the 2nd Cavalry Brigade. Eight sergeants of the Regiment, Officers of ‘B’ Squadron and 2nd Troop ‘R’ Sqdn. The Regimental Trumpeters sounded the last post at the conclusion of the service’. He was 44 years of age.

On the 1st August 1916 the London Gazette confirmed that his brother, Kenneth Chester Herron and his brother-in-law, Dennis William Bradwell had been appointed joint executors of his will and his addresses were given as 123 Pall Mall and 25 St. Thomas’s Street. He left over £50,000. He is buried at the Etaples Military Cemetery and like his brother, he is remembered in a window in the south aisle at Newdigate Church.

Newdigate Herron Window
Newdigate Herron Window © Newdigate Local History Society

Born                            Twickenham
Lived                           Kensington, London

Son of                         The late George O.M. and Ellen C. Janson of Newdigate Place, Newdigate
Brother of                     Kenneth Chester Herron

Regiment                     4th Dragoon Guards (Royal Irish)

Date of Death               3rd April 1916
Place of Death              France
Cause of Death            Accidentally Killed.

Age                              44

Memorial                     Etaples Military Cemetery

Previously : Stephen C. Harber                                                     Next : Kenneth C. Herron

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