Lance Corporal 203833 Walter Jenkins
1st/4th Battalion (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Royal Berkshire Regiment
He was born in Hungerford, the son of Walter and Ada Jenkins, of 13 Atherton Crescent, Hungerford. He enlisted in Newbury and joined the local territorial battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment.
He was killed in action on Thursday 16 Aug 1917, age 22. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
[On the War Memorial he is shown as a private (Pte). He was in fact a Lance Corporal]
- Regimental Badge of the Royal Berkshires
The War Diary reads:
The Battalion moved to Reigersburg Camp in the morning, remaining there till 11pm. Dinner was issued at 2pm. Then silence hours till 5.30pm., tea was then taken after which Stores were issued. A hot meal was issued at about 10pm. The Battalion moved off at 11pm. Weather:- Heavy showers at intervals during the day, fine night.
The following day to their disappointment they were in Brigade reserve during the attack. It was originally intended to move through the assaulting battalions after the initial attack and keep the momentum going. As with many attacks the whole thing got bogged down. Despite being to the rear they started taking casualties, in particular 'A' Company. They were being resisted by a Bavarian Division who were masters of defence. At the end of the day the total casualties for the battalion which were the lightest in the Brigade amounted to 35 killed and 138 wounded (Including 5 Officers), or about one third of the Battle strength.
Point of Interest:
The reference to Battle Strength refers to those who actually attacked. Before every attack a number of men from battalion headquarters, each company and other sub units within the battalion where removed and placed in reserve in order that they could form the nucleus of a new battalion if they suffered heavily in the attack. The new battalion would be reformed around these men. Unfortunately this happened more than once.