Gunner 820978 George Thomas Wallens

Wallens George 96 351x600Wallens George 96 379x600

Died of Wounds on Saturday, 10th March 1917, age 22.
Buried in Grave VI. C. 8. at Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty, Pas De Calais, France.

Royal Field Artillery, North Midland Division Ammunition Column.
Formerly 333 Royal Field Artillery.

Son of Thomas H and Martha Wallens, of 28 Queen Street, Princes End, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Stourbridge, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 5th March 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the St. John's Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/91851/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
Hungary Hill, Upper Swinford, Stourbridge, Worcs.
Thomas H. Wallens (31, Brickworks Foreman, born Lye), his wife Martha (33, born Lye), and their 4 children: Maud M. (10, born Hungary Hill), Edith (8, born Hungary Hill), Thomas (6, born Hungary Hill), and William H. (3, born Hungary Hill).

1911 Census
8 Brook Street, Woodsetton, Dudley, Worcs.
Thomas Henry Wallens (41, Fire Brick Works Manager, born Lye), his wife Martha (43, born Lye), and their 5 children: Maud Melinda (20, Dresser at Brick Works, born Lye), Edith (18, born Lye), George Thomas (16, Packer at Enamel Works, born Lye), William Henry (13, Messenger at Brick Works, born Lye), and Lily May (7, born Lye).

Personal Data

There is some confusion regarding George Wallens army number. The CWGC records 820978 Wallens, SDGW records 820796 Wailems, and his Medal Index Card shows 820796 Wallens. I have assumed the CWGC is correct.

Action resulting in his death

George was in the North Midland Division Ammunition Column of the Royal Field Artillery. This supported the guns for the 46th (North Midlands) Division containing our local 1/5th and 1/6th South Staffs. The 46th Division were in the area of Gommecourt, as they had been on 1st July 1916. They were about to come into action at Rossignol Wood on 14th March 1917 in an action to harass the Germans as they were withdrawing to the newly-constructed Hindenburg Line. If you want to see more detail of that action, see the entry for John Shipton.

George was wounded in action and transported to Saulty where the 20th and 43rd Casualty Clearing Stations were based, he died there and was buried in the adjacent Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, about 12 miles south west of Arras.

Newspaper Cuttings

County Express between 10 March & May 1917
Bombardier George Thomas Wallens, a Stourbridge soldier, has just died from gunshot wounds. Deceased, who was attached to a Heavy Trench Mortar Battery, lived at 28 Queen Street, Princes End, Tipton, with his parents, but was a native of Stourbridge. He was 22 years of age and single. As a Territorial he was called-up early in the struggle, and had been in France two years January last (incorrect - March 1915). Sister C. Blair writes from the 20th Casualty Clearing Station: "Your son, Pte T. Wallens, was admitted to us on the 16th with gunshot wounds in the chest. His wound was a very serious one from the beginning, and in spite of all we could do for him, he gradually sank and died at 7.50 on the morning of March 9th."
The Rev G.A. Bieneman, a Chaplain, writes: "Your son passed away peacefully and was buried in the little cemetery nearby."

Dudley Herald 28th April 1917
When the war broke out Bombardier George T.H. Wallens, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. T.H. Wallens, now of 28 Queen Street, Princes End, was serving with the Territorials, and he volunteered for active service. He was at the battle front for more than two years, and saw much fighting. It was on March 9th last that the gallant Bombardier died at a clearing station from wounds received in action. He was with the Heavy Trench Mortar Battery.

Deceased was an excellent and devoted soldier, and his family greatly prize a letter from his Captain, who expresses the highest appreciation of the services which he rendered to King and country. Bombardier Wallens was only 22 years of age, and was born at Stourbridge. Subsequently his parents went to live at Coseley, and Bombardier Wallens was engaged at the Cannon Foundry, Deepfields.