Walter John Malham
Rifleman R/11278 7th Battalion
Kings Royal Rifle Corps
Walter John Malham is commemorated on a small scroll stone which gives the first names of other family members (probably sister and mother) and the legend ‘Jack 19 Died in France 1916’. The Berkshire Family History Monumental Inscriptions files enabled me to locate the scroll (40G26) and their work also identified the family name of Malham. A CWGC search then enabled the identification of ‘Jack’. He was the only son of John Henry and Lillian Malham, of 59, Brunswick Street, Reading. His father also served in the army, first in the Army Service Corps and later as a 1st Air Mechanic with the RAF.
Walter John, who was obviously known as Jack to his family, died of wounds on 20th September 1916, aged 19. He is buried at Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L’Abbe, Somme. The village is some 10 kilometres west of Albert. The 36th Clearing Station was at Heilly from 1st April 1916. It is not known how or when Jack was wounded. However, the 14th Division was in the area of Delville Wood 15th July to 3rd September 1916 fighting in the battle of the same name. The Division also fought in the Battle of Flers -Courcelette 15th to 22nd September 1916. In this last battle, tanks were used for the first time.
Ancestry UK indicated that Walter John Malham was born 23 February 1897. He was a warehouse assistant in 1911 and his father was a engineering pattern maker. He had two older sisters.