Walter BERRY
Rank: Company Sergeant Major
Number: 18815
Unit: 21st Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 23 June 1917
Age: 35
Cemetery: Cheadle & Gatley Cemetery

Walter Berry lived with his wife, Mary Alice, at 51 Frances Street, Cheadle. His parents, Joseph & Elizabeth, came from Worsley.

He had enlisted in the sixth of the Manchester "Pals" battalions in the late autumn of 1914. By the time the Battalion left to go on active service on 8/9 November 1915, he had been promoted and was acting as platoon sergeant for the 6th Platoon, "B" Company. Several weeks were then spent in further training and the Battalion undertook its first tour of duty in the front line trenches on 6 February 1916

At some point he was wounded in action. It is not known when he received these injuries, although it is likely that it was during fighting around July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. He would have been initially evacuated to a Casualty Clearing Station and, then, probably to a military hospital in France. Subsequently, he returned to "Blighty".

There is a brief reference to CSM Berry in the book "Diary of an Unprofessional Soldier", by Captain T Nash. He mentions that, in September 1916, he was attached to the 3rd Battalion of the Regiment, after also recovering from wounds. The 3rd was the Manchesters training battalion and was comprised of new recruits and "old hands", like Walter, who had recovered from wounds. It can be assumed, therefore, that Walter's wounds may not have been too serious, as he had returned to duty quite quickly. Walter did not go overseas again so, it can be assumed that, as he is recorded as having "died of wounds", he must have suffered a relapse.  

(Original research by John Hartley for the Cheadle & Gatley War Memorials website)

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