Walter Sidney Bridgen

Date of birth: 1984
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 29492
Rank: Corporal
Regiment: Hampshire
Battalion: 2nd
Died: 29th October 1916 aged 22 years
Death location: Somme, France

 

Life before the War
Walter was the oldest of 4 siblings born to Walter and Eliza Elizabeth Bridgen (nee Neville), who married in Portsmouth during 1892. Walter Snr. was a Baths Manager and the family appear to have lived at the Corporation Baths on Weston Shore, Southampton.  Walter Snr. was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire in 1867 and he died in the New Forest, Hampshire in 1933.  Eliza was born in Eling in 1870 and she passed away in 1926, Southampton.

Walter’s 3 siblings, 2 sisters and 1 brother, were:

Elizabeth Ethel  b.1896 Southampton and d.1917 Southampton.
Winifred Victoria  b.1897 Southampton.
Albert Edward  b.1901 Southampton and d.1946 New Forest, Hampshire.  Married Dorothy V Galpin in 1944 also in the New Forest.

 

Military History

Having finished a tour in India at the end of 1914, the Hampshire 2nd Battalion spent 1915 in Gallipoli before leaving Alexandria for England in early 1916. The battalion entered France through Marseilles, France in March 1916 and fought in the battles of Albert and the Transloy Ridges as part of the Battle of the Somme.

Walter lost his life in this later battle, fought between September and October 1916. Persistent rain through October made warfare difficult with very little ground gained by either side, although casualties were high. This first Battle Of The Somme finally ground to a halt for the winter in November 1916. Four men from the Hampshire 2nd Battalion died in the area of Bancourt, France on 20th October of the same year.

The cemetery (Bancourt British Cemetery, Bancourt, France.) was begun by the New Zealand Division in September 1918 and all plots other than Plot I are graves brought in from battlefields to the east and south of Bancourt. Additionally, graves were brought in from certain Allied cemeteries including Bapaume Road Ceretery near Beaulencourt.

This site contains the graves of 20 British solders who fell in October 1916.   Walter is buried in Plot II, Row B, Grave 1 and his headstone reads;

“One of the best”

 

Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 8th December 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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