Born in Wheatley in 1897, son of Richard William Merritt and Mary nee Clements. Baptised Walter John Merritt. Brother of Frederick Merritt. He attended the Congregational Chapel Sunday School in 1902 and Wheatley Elementary school in 1909. The Soldiers of Oxfordshire website gives him the Regimental No. 201624 in the OBLI. The Oxford Chronicle of 15 September 1916 indicated that he had suffered ‘shellshock': this was probably in the Somme offensive. See also reference to him in the Wheatley in a World at War chapter.