Wilfred Walton

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    On 1 July Wilfred Walton attacked one of the toughest parts of the German line near Thiepval and was wounded in the opening stage of the Battle.

    Walton was born in Urmston, near Manchester, in 1886. He began his military career with the Mounted Infantry Company of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, after borrowing the local butcher’s horse and riding around a field until he stopped falling off.

    On the outbreak of the First World War Walton volunteered for service with the 16th Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers, known as the 2nd Salford Pals, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in May 1915. By November his battalion was in France and on 1 July 1916 they took part in the attack on the heavily fortified German strongpoint at Thiepval. Walton, now a Lieutenant, was Second-in-Command of B Company. His company was in support in Thiepval Wood at Zero Hour (07.30), and had the task of supporting the 1st Salford Pals’ (15th Lancashire Fusiliers) attack, and providing a defensive flank on the left of the 32nd Division.

    Walton’s company moved forward at 07.50, and he was wounded in the thigh. The Salford Pals continued to fight throughout the day, and were finally relieved at 03.00 on 3 July. Their attack had foundered and their immediate neighbour on the left, the 36th Ulster Division, which had taken the German strongpoint, Schwaben Redoubt, was left in an exposed position and driven back by counterattacks.

    Walton was sent back to Britain where he recovered from his wound and spent the rest of the war as adjutant of a Volunteer Training Corps Battalion in Lancashire. During the Second World War he commanded the Urmston area Local Defence Volunteers and Home Guard.

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