Serial No. 2141
Walter Fletcher - Information
Walter Fletcher was born in Camden c1894. His father, William, migrated to Australia from England and eventually settled in the Camden area, where he and his wife, Jessie, added to their growing family. Sadly, in 1910, William passed away leaving the family without a father. Shortly after William’s death, most of the family relocated towards the city. While Jessie moved to Woodlands St, Balgowlah in Manly, Walter moved in with his sister Lilian. Walter and his older brother, Harold, resided with Lilian and her husband Harry Derriman, at 35 Calder Rd in Redfern. Walter supported himself as a grocer, before deciding to join the colours. He enlisted in the AIF on the 25th of April 1915 in Liverpool. He was made a Private with the 1st Battalion, and shipped out from Sydney on the 16th of June 1915 on the HMAT Karoola.
Walter landed in Egypt and soon joined the 1st Battalion at the Gallipoli Peninsula in early August. At the time, General Hamilton had launched a series of attacks in a grand offensive. The 1st Battalion attacked the Turks at Lone Pine. It was days of particularly harsh fighting with the Turks protecting their trenches with nearly all the pine logs they could find, hence the name. On the 10th of September, Walter reported sick to No. 2 Stationary Hospital at Mudros on Lemnos Island, with a rupture. On the 16th, he was evacuated to England onboard the Hospital Ship Aquitania. Here, he was admitted to the 5th Southern General Hospital in Portsmouth. In early June 1916, he left Weymouth for France. Walter was at the Australian Division Base Depot, when he would have been told that his brother, Harold, went missing and was presumed captured during the Battle of Fromelles. He had to carry on with his duty in the trenches on the Somme. Then in late October, he was taken by the 88th Field Ambulance to the CRS with an infected right leg, which cleared up within a month. From January to March 1917, Walter attended the 1st Divisional School of Instruction. He then attended the ANZAC Corps School until early April, and was appointed Lance Corporal on the 1st of May. After a bout with venereal disease in July, he was taken on strength to the Electrical and Mechanical Mining & Boring Company the following month. Walter then went to England on leave in September, and spent over a week on duty with the 1st Divisional Headquarters. A few days before Christmas, he was taken to the 1st Infantry Brigade School until February 1918. In April, he spent some weeks in hospital with influenza and rejoined his unit in France in May. In mid August, he was appointed Acting Corporal, and promoted Corporal on the 21st of September. In October, he attended a Signal School. He was then sent back to Australia onboard the City of Poona at the end of March 1919. He was discharged in mid July and reunited with his family, an especially fond reunion with his brother Harold.