Private Walter Francis Willcock

Thank you to Patricia Brazier for the following research.

© Royston Williamson 2015
© Royston Williamson 2015

Walter was born in Beddington in 1892. His Parents were Alfred, a Civil Servant and Annie Caroline. Although Walter was born in Beddington, his father Alfred was born in Tavistock, Devon and his mother Annie Caroline (nee) Weller was born in Lewisham, Kent. They married in Croydon in the September quarter of 1890.

In the 1891 census, Walter’s parents are living at 7 Charlotte Road, Beddington. Living with them are Alfred’s mother Jane, his brother-in-law James Agnew and James’ 3 Children, Isidore, age 16 a tailor’s Apprentice, Ada age 13 and Alfred age 12, both at school.

In the 1901 census the family are still in Beddington. Walter is 9 years old and Ada Agnew is still living with them.

The 1911 census finds the family at ‘Anderton’ Lonsdale Road, Dorking. Walter is an insurance Clerk. Alfred has retired and Ada Agnew is still living with them and is a School mistress. No sisters or brothers for Walter.

Walter enlisted into the army in Guildford on 9th February 1916 having passed his medical in November 1915, his occupation was a Clerk. His attestation papers show that he was 5 feet 6 and 3 quarter inches tall, he weighed 119 lbs and was in good physical condition. He had a hernia and was fitted with a truss; this was “not considered sufficient to cause rejection”. On 14th April 1916 he was hospitalised with German measles, then on 19th April 1916 with Scarlet Fever, he was discharged from hospital on 31st May 1916. In the Dorking Advertiser of 28th October he is reported as “missing”. The commonwealth War Graves Commission gives his date of death as 3rd September 1916. At the time his battalion was in France attempting to capture Givenchy. Walter’s name is on the Theipval Memorial in France. This memorial shows the names of 72,246 British Empire Servicemen who died in the Battles of the Somme who have no known grave.

Walter’s probate records show that he left £366 10s 7d to his father. Walter’s mother died in 1913, before Walter joined the army. His father Albert continued to live in Dorking; he died in 1926 and left his estate in the hands of his Bank Manager and his solicitor. His solicitor’s name is William George Weller. Weller is his wife’s maiden name. Therefore I assume William George Weller is either his brother-in-law or Nephew.

Born                            Beddington
Lived                           Dorking

Son of                          Alfred and the late Annie Caroline Willcock

Enlisted                       Guildford

Regiment                     8th Battalion. The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment
Number                       G/7534

Date of Death              3rd September 1916
Place of Death             France
Cause of Death           Killed in Action

Age                              25

Memorial                     Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France