Private Walter William Rearden

Date of Birth 26 May 1882
Age at Death 35
Date of Death 8 July 1917
Service Number 30346
Military Service 8th Battalion East Surrey Regiment
Merton Address
Local Memorial Mitcham War Memorial

Additional Information

Born in Dulwich on 26 May, 1882, Walter was the son of joiner, William Rearden and his wife, Hannah. The couple also had an older son, Ernest plus two daughters, Gertrude and Sybil. On 27 January 1890, seven year old Walter was enrolled at the Goodrich Road School, Dulwich. His family was now living at 194 Barry Road. One year later they moved to 3 Crebor Street, Camberwell.

By 1901, Walter was employed as a Mercantile Clerk. He married Eva Tribe at St. Paul’s Church, Clapham on 19 April 1908 and the marriage was witnessed by Eva’s father, James, who worked as a Mechanical Engineer. In 1911, the couple were living at 79 Links Road, Tooting and had a two year old daughter, Ivy, who was born in Mitcham. Walter was now employed as a Clerk at a Paper Merchants and Makers.

Walter enlisted as a Private with the 8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment. His unit landed at Boulogne in July 1915 and went on to fight both in France and Belgium including action at the Battle of Loos (25 September – 19 October, 1915). The men of the 8th Battalion also fought at the Battle of the Somme (1 July –18 November, 1916), guaranteeing their place in history by famously going into the attack, whilst dribbling footballs across No Man’s Land! (These items had been supplied by the Company Commander, Captain Nevill, possibly as a means for quelling nervousness and boosting morale amongst the platoons). The Captain and many of his men were killed, but the 8th East Surreys were one of the only battalions to reach and hold its objective on that day.

Walter was killed in action on 8 July 1917, aged 35. He was identified by his army disc and his personal effects were returned to his base. He is buried at Hooge Crater Cemetery in Belgium and his gravestone reads ‘Peace Perfect Peace’. His name also appears on the Mitcham War Memorial.

Walter’s wife Eva and their daughter, Ivy, continued to live at Links Road, on the Mitcham/Tooting border until 1932, if not longer. Eva died in 1963, aged 79. Ivy married James Sowden and died in Gloucester in 2003.

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