Walter Bunting

Private, 3/6157 Walter BUNTING 3rd and 9th Battalions, Notts & Derbys (Sherwood Foresters) subsequently attached to the 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment.

KILLED IN ACTION on the 20th of August 1916.

Walter was born at Dolphin Street, Sheffield in 1890.
His mother was Lydia (nee Simpson) born in Sheffield in 1865.
His father is believed to be William Bunting but no further details have been established.

In 1891 he was living with his grandparents at 42 Dolphin Street.
His grandfather was William, a coal miner born in Belper and his mother, Martha born at Hollinwood in Lancashire.
His cousins were Albert, born Hollinsend, Sheffield, in 1891 a pony driver, Rosehannah, Gertrude, Priscilla and Arthur. All the children of William and Martha were born in different towns and villages perhaps reflecting William’s movements in search of work.

Dolphin Street below.

Dolphin Street Attercliffe

Walter appears absent from the 1901 census.

In 1910, at Worksop (or within Worksop District) he married Rebecca Calow, born in Clowne in 1889.
Their first son, Albert, was born in 1910.

In 1911, they were living at 14 The Green, Clowne. Walter was described as a Coal Hewer.

On the 22nd of August 1914, on the outbreak of war, Walter enlisted and was posted as Private 3/6157 to the 2nd Battalion of the Notts & Derbys Regiment (The Sherwood Foresters)

He arrived in France on the 11th of November 1914.

In June 1915 he fractured his right leg and was detained in hospital at Rouen until he had recovered.
Later reports in the local Derbyshire newspapers suggested that Walter had been badly wounded in France but his service papers show only that he sustained this injury so it may well have been the result of being in action rather than accidentally.

Upon return to active service, he was at some stage, attached to the 13th Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment.

Sadly Walter was to be killed on the 20th August 1916 and, amidst a sea of tragic ends his was particularly unfortunate.

On that date Walter was in the trenches with his comrades. One, Private 4703 A.J. Vickers subsequently gave evidence to the court of enquiry : “At 4.30am on the 20.8.16. I had a jam with the Lewis Gun and rectified the stoppage. Between 12 noon and 1pm I stripped the gun to clean it and put together again. I put a magazine on the gun, placed it on the parapet to fire a burst to test the gun. As I pressed the trigger the sandbag on which the gun was resting gave way and the gun fell to the right, before I could get my finger off the trigger, Rifm Bunting who was standing on the right of the gun was shot.”

Others also gave evidence to the enquiry including 2nd Lieut K.A. Robinson who was in charge of the Lewis Gun teams. He stated that Rifm Vickers was one of his most reliable men who had always taken every precaution.

The question was asked whether there was any ill-feeling between the two men but the reply was that they were all the best of friends.

Subsequently Rifm Vickers was exonerated of all blame and no further action was recommended
or taken.

Walter’s death was recorded in the Derbyshire Courier newspapers dated 2nd, 5th and 9th of September 1916.

His wife subsequently re-married some ten years later to George Gregory.