The AIF Project

Walter Edmund CHURCHILL

Regimental number382
Place of birthGoulburn, New South Wales
SchoolNewcastle High School, New South Wales
AddressHexham, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 9"
Weight168 lbs
Next of kinFather, Edmond Thomas Churchill, Hexham, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the Senior Cadets.
Enlistment date18 July 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name30th Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/47/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A72 Beltana on 9 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll30th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of death or woundingSomme Sector, France
Age at death19.9
Age at death from cemetery records19
Place of burialRue-Petillon Military Cemetery (Plot I, Row K, Grave No. 56), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Edmond Thomas and Emily Harriet CHURCHILL, 22, Ada Street, Waratah, New South Wales. Born at Goulburn, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 9 November 1915; disembarked Suez, 11 December 1915.

Admitted to 15th Field Ambulance, Ferry Post, 22 May 1916 (not yet diagnosed); discharged to duty, 25 May 1916; rejoined unit, 26 May 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Killed in action, 20 July 1916.

Buried Eaton Hall Cemetery by Rev.G. Cranston.

Statement, Red Cross File No 730811, 511 Pte C. PIGERSGILL, B Company, 30th Bn (patient, 3rd Southern General Hospital, The Base, Oxford, England), 11 November 1916: 'L/Cpl Churchill was killed at Fromelles on the night of July 19-20. We were attacking at the time, but had to retire later. He was hit in the stomach with a piece of shell and died in a dug out shortly afterwards. He was buried the following morning at Fromelles in a big grave with other Australians. His grave is marked and a record kept ... I did not see him killed, but I have seen his grave.'

Second statement, 568 Lance Corporal W.H. WEBB, B Company, 30th Bn (patient, 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, England), 13 November1916: 'Informant states that on the night of July 19th at Fromelles Churchill was killed by a shell wound in the abdomen. He asked for a drink of water, but having an abdominal wound had to be refused. He died shortly afterwards in a dug-out. He was buried in a cemetery close by Fromelles in a large trench grave with a number of his comrades.'

Third statement, 492 Pte F. MALONEY, B Company, 30th Bn (patient, No 1 Canadian General Hospital, Etaples), 28 November 1916: 'Whilst in front of Fleurbaix we were endeavouring to consolidate a ditch which lay beween the lines; this was late in the evening of 19th. July. To do this we had to carrys and bags across the open: Churchill had crossed 5 times but as he left our trenches for the 6th. attempt he was shot in the mouth by a bullet and killed instantly. Some of our men put him in a dug-out where I saw him. I am almost certain he was buried in the English Cemetery, just behind our line of that date.'

Fourth statement, 436 Lance Sergeant J.W. LAING, B Company, 30th Bn (patient, Beaufort War Hospital, Bristol, England), 10 December 1916: 'Informant states that Churchill was struck in the body by a piece of shell at Fromelles on July 20th and died immediately. His body was taken into a dug out in our lines and I saw it.'

Fifth statement, 502 Pte J.W. NICHOLSON,B Company, 30th Bn (patient, Graylingwell Hospital, Chichester, England), 2 January 1917: 'Informant states that on July 20th. 1916 at Fromelles L/Cpl. Churchill was carrying ammunition to the German 1st line of trenches which was held by our men and was killed. There was an Armistice granted and unfortunately it was broken by two A.I.F. consequently the Germans turned M. Guns on the stretcher bearers and it is feared L/Cpl. Churchill's body was never brought in for burial.'
SourcesNAA: B2455, CHURCHILL Walter Edmund
Red Cross file 730811

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