On this day in 1915, Walter George Alsop (1892-1915), aged 22, died of wounds in France.
A private in the 2nd Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, Walter went to the Western Front on November 6, 1914.
It is not known when he was wounded, but he may have been among the 144 casualties suffered by the battalion in their attack on Moated Grange, near Neuve Chapelle, just before Christmas in 1914.
The 2nd Devons had a baptism of fire in their first four months in France, with 278 of their officers and men being killed or wounded.
Walter was buried in Estaires Communal Cemetery, near Armentieres in France.
He is not commemorated on his local war memorial in Poughill, or at nearby Crediton.
He was a professional soldier in the Devonshire Regiment before the war – serving in the 1st Battalion at North Tidworth in Andover in 1911.
Walter was a brother of Thomas Alsop (or Alsopp) (1970-1951) who married Sarah Roberts (1872-1937) on May 6, 1895 at the Holy Cross Church, Crediton.
Sarah was a daughter of William Roberts (1828-1903), the eldest brother of John Roberts (1829-1919), my great-great grandfather, who had a record 30 grandsons serving in the Great War.
Walter, born in 1892 in Poughill, was the youngest son of Thomas Alsop (1848-1945) and Harriet Smith (1849-1934).
Walter’s parents received a congratulatory message from King George V and Queen Mary when they celebrated 60 years of marriage in 1929. They said they ‘trusted that you are both in good health and spending a very happy anniversary’.
Thomas and Harriet were married on April 17, 1869, in Poughill and had ten children. The Western Times on April 26, 1929, said that Harriet had ‘worked in every field in the parish and done every kind of farm work’. During the war, she ‘did admirable service, milking cows twice a day’, and helped in the cornfields. She was honoured for her work in the war by the government.
Walter George Alsop, pictured just before he went to war.