Walter Edward White was born in Borstal, Kent in 1892. Walter first appears on the 1901 census, aged 9, living at 1 Sidney Road, Borstal. Walter was the third son of William (42) and Emma (45), his siblings were Francis (14), Arthur (11) and Grace (6). The household was completed by a 2-year-old Walter Bellings who is listed as a boarder. Walter’s father was a cement labourer, whilst his elder brother Francis was a domestic gardener. Walter attended Borstal National School from 1897.
At the time of the 1911 census, Walter, now 19, is a general labourer. His brothers Francis and Arthur are no longer living at 1 Sidney Road; however, his sister Grace remains and works as a shop assistant. Walter Bellings remains as a boarder, and is now 12 years old and attending school.
Walter enlisted in Rochester, Kent into the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was a gunner in Kent [RGA- (TF)] Battalion, his regimental number 358640. Walter was part of the 62nd siege battery, which first engaged in France in March 1916. Siege Batteries were deployed behind the front line and equipped with heavy artillery, and attempted to destroy the enemy’s infrastructure and artillery.
Walter was engaged in the western European theatre of war where he was killed in action during the Battles of Ypres on 10th September 1917. He was 26. Walter’s last resting place is Bleuet Farm Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, where he is one of 442 fallen soldiers of the First World War.