No.60800, Private, Walter TWITCHETT
Aged 19

15th/17th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment
Killed in Action on Friday, 22nd April 1918

Walter Twitchett was born in Denston (Risbridge Q1-1899 4A:819), son of Charles and Ellen TWITCHETT (née MALTON).

1901 census... Aged 2, he was at Upper Green, Denston with his father Charles TWITCHETT [45] horsekeeper born Stradishall; his mother Ellen [45] born Stansfield; sisters May [19] and Eva [13]; brothers Edgar [11], Charles [9] and Frank [5]. All the children were born in Denston.

1911 census... Aged 12, unemployed, he was still at Upper Green with his parents and brothers Edgar (farm labourer),Charles (stockman) and Frank

His brother Frank was killed in 1916 in France serving in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. see here

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds.
The battalion war diary:- At Le Tir Anglais on 22nd April 1918...Due an officer becoming a casualty,no instructions were received by the 15th West Yorks Regt. therefore the battalion finding no one on its flanks proceeded to take action worthy of the highest traditions of the British Army. It first of all endeavoured to extend north through MOYENNEVILLE to our original line and so gain touch with the right of the Guards Division,but in the meantime the enemy meeting with no opposition had entered MOYENNEVILLE and had established machine guns which enfiladed our line. A counter attack was organised, the two companies to re-take the Ridge and one platoon to re-take MOYENNEVILLE, and work round behind the enemy's line on the ridge.
This counter attack was entirely successful; a large body of the enemy (said by the prisoners to be one battalion) were driven from the ridge and as they retired were taken in the flank by the party who had moved round the N. This cut off their escape to COURCELLES, and after suffering very heavy casualties the remains of this battalion hoisted a white flag and 35 prisoners surrendered. It was not found possible to bring back to our lines the very large number of enemy wounded lying in the valley. This battalion (the 15th West Yorks) had covered a front of over 2,000 yards for 36 hours and continued to sustain the weight of the enemy's attacks until practically the whole battalion was overwhelmed. Only 4 officers and 40 other ranks of those who were forward subsequently reached our line, but this battalion by its gallant action relieved the pressure on our front throughout the whole day, and gave the Division ample time to establish its position near AYETTE.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Walter Twitchett is buried in Le Grand Hasard Miltary Cemetery, Morbecque, grave 4:C:12

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

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