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Walter Burnley

Date of birth: 1.1890
Area: Pontefract
Regiment: Yorkshire and Lancashire
Family information: Husband of Elizabeth Burnley (nee Fox), 10 Ash Street, Grovetown, Pontefract
Rank: Private
Service number: 8/13434

War Service

Walter attested (joined up) at Pontefract Barracks on a 3 year Short Service engagement on the 2nd September 1914, giving his age as 23 years and 11 months and his occupation as a collier; he joined the 8th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment, his regimental number being 13434.
He was described as being 5’ 8” tall and weighing 132 lbs.
Along with the Battalion he was posted to Frensham Camp and was inoculated there on 5th October 1915 against Typhoid.
He was posted to the BEF in France on 27th August 1915 and served in France until 12th March 1917. He must therefore have been present at Ovillers on 1st July 1916 when the 8th Battalion assaulted the German positions on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, where his brother Benjamin, and all but 68 of the 703 strong Battalion were killed.
Sometime, just prior to 12th March 1917, he received multiple shrapnel wounds to his right finger, left knee and forearm, and was sent back to England.
He was admitted to Warncliffe War Hospital, Sheffield on 13th March 1917 and attached to ‘C’ company, 14th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment. Discharged from hospital on 30th April 1917 he was given leave until 9th May, during which he got married.
At that time he was declared as fit only for home service and unlikely ever to be fit enough for service overseas.
So, on 10th May 1917 he was posted to the Northern Command Depot at Ripon but on 28th July 1917 he was posted back to the BEF with the 3rd Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment, but on arrival the next day at Boulogne he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion.
On 15th September 1917 he was declared ‘permanent base’ by a medical board.
He remained in Boulogne until 19th January 1919 when he was sent home to England and on 4th February he was given 28 days leave and finally demobilised on 18th February 1919.
He remained a private throughout his army service and was awarded the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Family Life

During leave from 30 April to 9 May 1917, he returned to 6 Elm Street, Grovetown, Pontefract and married Elizabeth Fox at All Saints Church, Pontefract on 5th May 1917.
After being demobbed in February 1919, he lived at 10 Ash Street, Grovetown, Pontefract.

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