- 1911 Occupation Farm Plough-boy
- Domicile Backs Lane, Jacksdale and Gripps Cottages Cotgrave
- Date of Birth 2nd August, 1897
- Kin George Edward & Mary Elizabeth (nee Smith)
- Regiment 2/6 Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment. 1920 – The Lincolnshire Regiment
- Division 2 North Midland Division
- Brigade 2 Staffordshire Brigade
- Enlistment Date 23 February 1916, Derby; 9 January 1920, Lincoln
- Service Number 65258
- Rank Private
- Medals British War and Victory Medals
- Date of Death 17 May 1920
- Age at Death 22
- Commemorated Cotgrave War Memorial; Jacksdale War Memorial, Nottinghamshire
The name Walter Henstock appears on an individual plaque attached to the Cotgrave War Memorial and on the Memorial Board in All Saints Church Cotgrave. His grave is in All Saints Church Cemetery. His name also appears on the War Memorial in Jacksdale, Nottinghamshire where he lived for some time.
Walter was born in Cotgrave in 1897 to George and Mary (Nee Smith) Henstock. George worked variously as a Groom, Bricklayer’s Labourer, Carrier and Cottager, with son Walter being employed as a Farm Ploughboy when he was 13. George and Mary lived at 11, Gripps Cottages and between 1891 and 1912 had 13 children. By 1916 Walter had moved to Jacksdale where he lived in Back Lane with his sister Mabel and her husband. He was enlisted during his time in Jacksdale and described his employment as ‘Lettering Ovens’ for a firm in Pinxton, Nottinghamshire.
On 23rd February 1916 Walter began his Army Service as a conscript and went immediately to the Army Reserve. After initial training he was mobilised on the 18th May 1916 and was posted to 2/6 Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment on the 25th May, 1916. 2/6 Battalion was a Second Line unit predominantly used for Home Defence.
On the 25th February, 1917, he was posted to France where he fought with the 59th (2nd North Midland) Division. One year later on 21st March, 1918 he was reported missing in action during the battle of Saint Quentin, becoming a Prisoner of War until his release and repatriation on the 30th November, 1918.
In February 1920 he re-enlisted into the Lincolnshire Regiment as a regular Soldier, but his career was short-lived as he died in the 4th Northern General Hospital, Lincoln, on the 17th May, 1920 from Acute Pulmonary Tuberculosis, possibly as a result of his lack of nutrition whilst a Prisoner of War. His body was returned to his home town of Cotgrave, where he was buried at All Saints Church, Cotgrave on the 20th May, 1920, aged just 22.
Walter was not married but had a girlfriend to whom he intended to propose. He had bought the ring and on deployment left it with his sister Bessie for safekeeping. Walter never did get engaged and the ring was handed down through Walter’s family.
Ethel May, Walter’s sister-in-law, moved to Cotgrave in 1924 where in 1939 she married Cyril, one of Walter’s brothers. Cyril died in 1974, leaving Ethel a widow. In 1975 she married Ted another of Walter’s brothers who was himself a widower. Ted died in 1982 but Ethel survived him and continues to live today (2014) in Cotgrave aged 96.
Walter’s grave in All saints church cemetery was originally marked with a wooden cross showing his name, Regiment and number. Later the cross was replaced with a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone which remains a lasting memory to Walter
Jacksdale War Memorial. Walter is remembered on the War memorial at All Saints church Cotgrave and on the War Memorial in Jacksdale Nottinghamshire
DETAILS OF THE SERVICE OF WALTER’S BATTALION 1/6TH, SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT.
The 1/6th (Service) Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment was a territorial unit based in Wolverhampton serving with the Staffordshire Brigade in North Midland Division, when war broke out in August 1914. They were mobilised for war service on the 5th of August 1914. The Division concentrated in the Luton area by mid August, they moved to Bishops Stortford in November to prepare for service overseas. They proceeded to France, landing at Boulogne in late February being first complete Territorial Division to arrive in a theatre of war when they joined the BEF in the Ypres salient. They first saw action at Wulverghem in the Ypres Sector in April 1915. On the 12th of May the Division was retitled 46th (North Midland) Division. They were in action during The German liquid fire attack at Hooge and The attack at the Hohenzollern Redoubt in October. On the 23rd of December they were ordered to proceed to Egypt via Marseilles leaving the DAC, Divisional Train and the Mobile Veterinary Section behind. All units had arrived by the 13th of January 1916 but they spent just a few days in Egypt, being ordered to return to France where the units left behind rejoined. On the 1st of July 1916 they took part in the diversionary attack at Gommecourt. In 1917 they were in action during the Operations on the Ancre, Occupation of the Gommecourt defences, The attack on Rettemoy Graben, The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The attack on Lievin and The Battle of Hill 70. In 1918 they saw action in The Battle of the St Quentin canal, including the passage of the canal at Bellenglise, The Battle of the Beaurevoir Line, The Battle of Cambrai, The Battle of the Selle and The Battle of Sambre. At the Armistice, the advance units of the Division were at Sains-du-Nord. The Division moved back to Landrecies on the 15th of November then to the Le Cateau area in early January 1919 where demobilisation began. – See more at: http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/southstaffordshireregiment6-gw.php#sthash.brJttZlj.dpuf
George Edward Henstock and family These spreadsheets downloadable.