Private 15606 Walter Baggott

Baggott Walter 96 446x600Baggott Walter 96 408x600
Photograph courtesy of William's great-nephew Keith Cherrington.

Killed in Action on Saturday, 1st July 1916, age 32.
Buried in Grave II. C. 18. at Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

6th Bn., King's Shropshire Light Infantry. 60th Brigade of 20th Division.

Son of William and Julia Baggott, of Dudley, Worcestershire; husband of Florence Baggott, of 51, Queens Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Dudley, Enlisted: Leominster, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 4th September 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and Dudley Clock Tower memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/137826/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Walter Baggott registered June Quarter 1884 at Dudley.

1891 Census
2 Waterloo Place, Waterloo Street, Dudley, Worcs.
Walter Baggott (44, Shingler, born Brierley Hill), his wife Julia (43, born Dudley), and their 3 children: Alex (16, Stationary Engine Driver, born Dudley), Isaiah (13, Scholar, born Dudley), and Walter (7, Scholar, born Dudley).

Can't find any trace of William on the 1901 Census. Possibly a regular soldier with the 16th Lancers.
1901 Census
8 Church Street, Dudley, Worcs. - his parents but not him.
Walter Baggott (52, Iron Worker, born The Delph), his wife Julia (55, born Dudley), and their son Isaiah (22, Bricklayer's Labourer, born Dudley).

Marriage of Walter Baggott and Florrie Barnes registered in December quarter 1903, in Dudley.

1911 Census
15 Wood Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Living with her parents John and Harriett Barnes was:
Florrie Baggott (26, Married, Servant, born Dudley), and her 2 surviving children of 3: Leonard (3, born Dudley), and Annie (2, born Tipton).

No sign of her husband because:
1911 Census
HM Convict Prison, Parkhurst, Isle of Wight.
Walter Baggott (36, Married, formerly Fitter Engineer, born Dudley).

Personal Data

Walter Baggott briefly served in the Lancers in 1901 having enlisted at Sedgley on 4th March. Walter had an apparent age of 19 years and 10 months, actually he was not quite 17 years old. He was 5 feet 8½ inches tall, weighed 144 pounds with a 35-inch chest, employed as a Brass Polisher, and was Church of England. He had a sallow complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair. Within 2 days of enlisting he was with the 21st Lancers in Dublin, from where he was discharged just 43 days later on 15th April, as "not likely to become an efficient soldier". This presumably was as a result of Walter being thrown from his horse as reported in the Tipton Herald in 1916.

After Walter's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £1/13/8d (1 pound, 13 shillings and 8 pence); this was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Florence, in August 1916. His War Gratuity was £7/0/0d (7 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his widow in September 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Walter had enlisted in approximately December 1914.

Action resulting in his death

Pte. Baggott landed in France on 4th September 1915 and may well have been one of the draft of 20 men received by the 6th KSLI on the 15th September. At the time of his death the 6th KSLI were holding the Railway Wood sector, near Hooge. They had raided the German trenches at 12.03am on 30th June when 15 men are recorded as being killed. It had been intended to use gas but the wind was unfavourable, and the gas was not used for just over 24 hours until released at 2.45am on 1st July. The Germans replied vigorously with artillery and trench mortars, killing two company commanders and nine other ranks according to the War Diary.

A letter from Captain Thorne to Walter's widow says that Walter and 3 comrades were killed when a heavy shell hit their dug-out, Walter is buried some 6 miles west of Railway Wood at Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery. There are 27 men from the 6th KSLI buried in Vlamertinghe from this period in the trenches at Railway Wood. This unusual example of moving the bodies of their comrades almost 6 miles to a cemetery behind the line was to a large extent due to the presence of a light railway from Railway Wood area to the back areas.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 22nd July 1916
A Tipton ex-Lancer killed in France
The wife of Private Walter Baggott (32), of 51 Queens Road, Tipton, has had official news that her husband was killed in the fighting of July 1st. Prior to the war he was employed as an electrician at Messrs Baylis, Jones and Baylis's, Wolverhampton. Many years ago he served in the 16th Lancers, but was thrown from his horse and invalided out of the service. He afterwards underwent an operation as a result of the injury.
Soon after the outbreak of war he joined the King's Shropshire Light Infantry in November 1914. He leaves a wife and one child.
The widow has received the following letter from Captain S.F. Thorne:- "Dear Mrs Baggott, I am indeed grieved to have to write and inform you of the death of your husband, Private W. Bagott of my company, which occurred yesterday afternoon. Our trenches were being subject to a very heavy bombardment, and your husband and several other men had gone into a deep dug-out for shelter. He hadn't been there for more than five minutes before a heavy shell came along and exploded at the entrance of the dug-out, killing him and three other men. We are all very sorry indeed to lose your husband, for he was well liked by everyone. He was transferred to my company a few months ago, and ever since he came to me he had been doing consistent good work. He was an excellent soldier, and by his coolness and fearlessness under fire was a splendid example to his comrades. I told him how pleased I was with the good work he had done, and I had fully intended promoting him as soon as there was a vacancy. I wish I had more like him, and I trust it will be some slight consolation to you in your sorrow to know that he died so nobly. Please accept my deepest sympathy, together with that of my officers and men in your sad bereavement."
The Chaplain (the Rev. Roger Bulstrode) has also written a very sympathetic letter to the widow, and telling her that her husband's body has been laid to rest in a cemetery some miles from the firing line, and where the body will be properly cared for.