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Major Walter Gordon Douglas-Willan

 

Walter was the son of John Gordon Douglas-Willan, and the grandson of Colonel Douglas-Willan of Haverfordwest, who had fought with Lord Chelmsford during Zulu War.

He was commissioned into the 4th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, but was then attached to the 22nd Battalion, which was the Pioneer Battalion to the 8th Division. The 8th Division was formed during October 1914, by the bringing together of regular army units from various points around the British Empire. The Division moved to the Western Front in November 1914, a badly-needed reinforcement to the BEF which had been all but wiped out at Ypres. They saw their first major action at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, and then at the Battle of Aubers. They then saw further fighting at the Action of Bois Grenier, before moving to the Somme in 1916, where they fought at the Battle of Albert. In March, 1917 they followed the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line, and later that year moved to Ypres, fighting at the Battle of Pilckem, and the Battle of Langemarck. In March, 1918 the Division were on the southern end of the Somme, and here met the German Offensive head on, at the Battle of St Quentin. Walter was killed here on 24 March 1918.

He has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial, France.

 

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Last modified: Wednesday, 18 July 2018