Walter Holley

Date of birth: 1893
Place of birth: Bournemouth
Regiment: Hampshire
Battalion: 1st
Rank / Service No: Private, 22071
Died: 9th August 1916, aged 23 years
Buried: Cambrin Churchyard Extension, France (P.41)


Walter was the seventh of 10 known siblings born to George and Rosina Holley (nee Pearce), who married in Dorchester in 1879.

The couple are known to have had 13 children so it must be assumed that a further 3 died in infancy.


George, a bricklayer, was born in Romsey in 1859. There is evidence that he was in the Romsey Workhouse at the 1871 Census.

He died in Southampton in 1939.


Rosina was born in Dorchester in 1861 and she passed away in Southampton in 1922.



William Alfred   b. 1880 Dorchester   d. 1882 Dorchester

Elizabeth Alice   b. 1882 Dorchester   d. 1902 Shirley   Married Alfred James Tillyer in Shirley in 1902.

William George   b. 1884 Bournemouth   d. 1964 Southampton

Alfred Charles    b. 1886 Bournemouth   d. 24 April 1915 Belgium   Married Kate Elizabeth Ridges in Shirley in 1908. See separate story. 

John Samuel   b. 1888 Bournemouth   d. 1966 Southampton   Married Martha H. Figgins in Southampton in 1913.

Henry (Harry)   b. 1890 Bournemouth   d. 1960 Edmonton   Married Ellen M. Stocker in Southampton in 1919.


Bessie Annie   b. 1897 Shirley   d. 1962 Southampton

Annie   b. 1899 Shirley   d. 1980 Southampton   Married Thomas W. Gledhill in Southampton in 1924.

Albert Frank   b. 1908 Shirley   d. 1976 Southampton   Married Lilian D. Brown in Southampton in 1941.


Walter married Violet L. Barrett in Southampton in 1914. The couple had 1 son…..

Frederick Walter   b. 1915 Southampton   d. 1951 Bournemouth   Married Geneva E. Huff in Bournemouth in 1948.


Violet had been born in Portsmouth in 1885. After Walter’s death, she married Harry Riggs in Bournemouth in 1919.

It is not known what happened to Violet after this date.



As part of the 3rd Brigade in the 1st Division, the 1st Hampshires landed at Le Havre on 13 August 1914.

They were in action straight away at the Battle of Mons, and during the subsequent retreat. In 1915, the battalion saw action at the Battle of Aubers and the Battle of Loos.


It is possible that Walter was wounded during the Battle of Albert, fought between July 1 – 13th.


On the first day of this battle, the 1st Hampshires lost 320 men and had 265 wounded, the battalion’s worst experience of the war.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 30th September 2016


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