Name: Herbert Thomas Walters

Birth Date: 23rd June,1898 Where: Beaconsfield Tasmania
Died: 1966 Where: Tasmania
Place of Enlistment: Claremont, Tasmania Age:16yr 11mo.
Serial Number: 1284 Battalion: 26th
Rank on Enlistment: Private Rank on Discharge/Death: Private

Awards: 1914 - 15 Star, British War Medal 1914 - 1920, Victory Medal,

 

Photograph Walters

Service Details:

 

 

15 May

1915                      Enlisted

9 June

1915                      Embarked from Australia

August

1915                      Embarked Egypt

10 Sept. – 12 Dec.

1915                      Gallipoli

21 March

1916                      France

6/7 June

1916                      Trench Raid

7 June

1916                      Wounded,Trench Raid

9 December

1916                      Rejoined Battalion

February

1917                      Warlencourt

March

1917                      Attack on Malt Trench

May

1917                      Battle of Bullecourt (Hindenburg Line)

5 May

1917                      Wounded

June

1917                      Bapaume

4 August

1917                      Rejoined Battalion

4 August

1917                      To Hospital

18 September

1917                      Ypres

October

1917                      Broodseine & Passchendale

26 October

1917                      Battle of Passchendale (Ypres)

24 November

1917                      Rejoined Battalion

December

1917                      Red Lodge

7 April

1918                      Dernacourt

20 April

1918                      Ville Sur-Ancre

May

1918                      Morlancourt

18 May

1918                      Injured

19 October

1918                      Transferred Provost Corp

11 November

1918                      Armistice

24 April

1920                      Discharged abroad

 

 

 

 

Biographical Details:

Herbert Thomas Walters was born to George Ward Walters and Emily Hopton in Beaconsfield, Tasmania on 23rd June 1898. This made him just 16 years and 11 months old when he enlisted – not the 18 years and 11 months he claimed. In the AIF’s defence, Herbert’s parents had supplied written permission for him to enlist. A letter written by his widow in 1967 confirmed that Herbert was indeed younger than 17y.o. when his Battalion embarked Australia. This would have made him one of the youngest to serve in World War 1 and certainly the youngest Black ANZAC.
During the Trench Raid, Herbert was one of the members of the Covering Party. He was also one of the four Raiders wounded while returning to the Australian trenches. The injury to his left forearm was serious enough to keep him from rejoining his unit until December.
In May 1917 Herbert received a GSW to the toes of his left foot. He was able to rejoin his Battalion late July but soon after was hospitalised for three months with Gonorrhoea.
Herbert was again hospitalised in May 1918 with injuries to his right ankle and foot. After recovering he was transferred to the Provost Corps in London and soon after appointed Corporal. This arrangement suited Herbert who had married Bessie Maria Williams in 1918. Unfortunately in July 1919 Herbert appeared before a District Court Martial (DCM) for “Unlawfully being in possession of another soldier’s property” and “Conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline.”
Herbert was found guilty on both charges, reduced to the ranks and given 14 days detention.
Since Armistice, Herbert’s wife Bessie had been petitioning the AIF for Herbert to be discharged in London because she was the sole carer of her blind mother and war-crippled brother and was unable to leave England.
Herbert was discharged in England in 1920 but in 1922 he returned to Australia on his own to prepare for the arrival of Bessie and the two children they had produced.  In 1929 he applied for, and was subsequently granted, an unchallenged divorce on the grounds that Bessie had deserted him .
Of Herbert’s two sons, one died in 1922, the other, born in 1922, died in 1937.
Herbert died in Tasmania in 1966.


Advocate, Tuesday 10 September 1929, page 5