Private Walter Edgar Spearing


A.I.F 4314 Private Walter Edgar Spearing enlisted with 13th Infantry Battalion, Australian Army, at Currabubula, New South Wales. He had emigrated from England in 1912. On 15 December 1915 he left for Europe with 13 to 18 Reinforcement Drafts, on ship H.M.A.T.S. Aeneas, from Sydney. In June 1916 the Battalion joined II Anzac Corps in France, and

for the next two years it served on the Western Front. It saw action at Pozieres Ridge in August 1916 during the Somme offensive. Corporal Spearing died of wounds on 4 March 1917 and is buried in the Communal Cemetery Extension at Abbeville, Somme (ref. II. C. 26), where Casualty Clearing took place. He is further commemorated in Australia, in the Commemorative Area of the War Memorial, Capital Territory (ref: panel 71).

Walter Edgar Spearing was the second of six children (five sons) of William Spearing, coachman, job master and publican, born in Wookey, Somersetshire in 1863, and Harriet Lizzie nee Wood, born in Stadhampton in 1869. All the couple's children were born in Wheatley, Walter in 1893 when the family lived on High Street. After Wheatley Elementary, he attended Night School in the village in 1909. The 1911 census lists the father as licensed victualler and iron master, running the White Hart public house on High Street, while Walter was a domestic gardener. In a long-standing village tradition, he emigrated, departing for Australia from London on 27 July 1912 on board P. & O. ship Narrung, giving his occupation as farmer and his age as 19. At the time of Walter's death his parents' address was 10 William Street in Oxford.

He had lived at the White Hart, 83 High Street.

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