No.131984, Private, Walter PETTITT
Aged 19

35th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
Killed in Action on Wednesday, 17th April 1918

Walter Pettitt was born in Castle Camps on 29th March 1899 (Linton Q2-1899 3B:514), baptised in Castle Camps on 30th July 1899, son of William and Elizabeth PETTITT (née MYNOTT ).
The family name can be Pettit or Pettitt, even Pettett.

1901 census...Aged 2 he was at Castle Camps with his father William Pettitt [44] farm labourer; his mother Lizzie [41]; brother Alfred [21] born in Shudy Camps, farm labourer and his wife Ellen [18]; sisters Mary [15] and Emma [11]; brothers Arthur [8] and Frank [5]. All except Alfred were born in Castle Camps.
Brother Alfred enlisted in the Royal Horse Artillery on 8th October 1902 stating he was single. Transferred to Reserves in 1905, mobilised in 1914 and finally discharged having completed his 12 years in 1915

1911 census...Aged 12, he was at Bumpstead Road, Castle Camps with his parent; brothers Alfred ( now entered as single), Frank, (both farm labourers), and George [9], sister Lilly [5]. They are all recorded now as born in Shudy Camps. All 9 siblings survive. Brother Arthur was a beast man at Catterton, Tadcaster, Yorkshire with the RHODES family

His elder brother Arthur was killed serving in France in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in 1916 see here

He enlisted in Cambridge on 5th March 1917.
His entry in Du Ruvigny's Roll of Honour reads :- PETTITT, WALTER. Private, No.131984, 35th Machine Gun Corps, 4th s. of William Pettitt of Castle Camps, co.Cambridge,Farm Labourer; b.Castle Camps aforesaid, 29 March, 1899; educ.there: was a Farm Labourer; enlisted 19 March, 1917;served with the Expeditionary Force in France andFlanders, and was killed in action 17 April,1918. An officer wrote:"During the time he has been with me he has gained my utmost respect. He stood by his gun througjh heavy shelling". unm

So far have not accessed the war diaries after Jan 1918. He does appear to have been killed during the German Spring Offensive (Kaiserschlacht) which began on 21st March 1918, and where he is buried is around the furthest west the Germans reached, just north of Albert. Without his service records or the war diary there is no way of saying to which infantry regiment he was attached.

CWGC has just two of the battalion killed, so presumably Manchester man Frank Hargeaves was manning the gun with him

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Walter Pettitt is buried in Martinsart British Cemetery, grave 1:F:50

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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