Caistor St Edmund – War Memorial (Walter John Blake)

Walter William John Blake is one of the names listed on the war memorial in Caistor St Edmund.

Walter served in France and Flanders during the First World War, dying of his wounds on 29 March 1918 at the age of 19. He was born on 26 November 1898 and was the son of Mrs Eliza Blake, who lived in Hall Cottages, Wacton Common in Long Stratton.

In the 1911 census, he was living in Kimberly, near Wymondham, when he was listed as being a 12-year old still at school, living with his younger brother Leonard who was aged 9, along with his mother Eliza and his father Walter Blake, who was a farm labourer.

He’s commemorated today at the Pozieres Memorial, which is around five miles from the French town of Albert.  There are 14,700 casualties recorded here and many of those are listed only on a panel as the bodies were never recovered, but they were men in the Allied Fifth Army (renamed the Fourth Army on 2 April 1918) which was driven back by the Germans. As Blake is listed only on a tablet, I’m assuming that his body was never found.

I haven’t ascertained where he lived before going to war, it must have been in the village as I can’t see any other connections that he had to Caistor St. Edmund.