Lance Sergeant 17808 Walter Thomas Bushnell
1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment
Lance Sergeant Bushnell was the son of Edward and Lydia Bushnell, of Hungerford. He died on Sunday 11 Aug 1918, age 31. We have no information about his time in Hungerford but it appears that he came from a large family in the town.
- Badge of the Dorsetshire Regiment
The Battalion war diary for this period reads:
The battalion moved at 4.00pm with the Division to the Beaucourt Area.
Battalion took up position in front of Damery and bivouacked.
Orders were issued that the battalion as to capture and hold Damery Wood and Damery Village and to join he 5th/6th Royal Scots. 'D' Company were ordered to capture Bois Damery. The three remaining Companies were ordered to assemble behind Le Quesnoy Ridge. 'C' Company to attack Damery Village, frontally with 'A' Company attacking the village from the North East. 'B' Company to push through Bois Milieu and to establish communication with the 5th/6th Royal Scots at the wood. At 9.30 the barrage opened and the companies went forward over the parapet. The attack was only partially successful and the objectives were not achieved. Casualties caused by heavy machine-gun fire from the direction of Parvillers. Casualties Officers killed 7, Wounded 7 Other Ranks Killed 26, missing 42, wounded 240 (1 by gas). Many of the wounded and missed were later confirmed as died.
We have no way of knowing what Company Walter Bushnell was in at the time of his death. [Also killed in the same battalion on the same day was another Hungerford man also listed on the War Memorial, Private Charles J. Rosier.]
Point of Interest:
Another local soldier Private Fredrick Charles Bushnell from Shalbourne Barracks, Hungerford and the son of Charles and Alice Bushnell died on the 14th May 1915 whilst serving in the 5th Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. He is buried in the Aldershot Military Cemetery and was shown as residing in Hungerford. He is not listed on the War Memorial or any other town memorial. [There might well be a link between the two, but at this point we are not sure of it].