Walter CULLEN
Rank: Private
Number: 13223
Unit: 12th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 15 February 1916
Age: 27
Cemetery: Spoilbank Cemetery, Ieper, Belgium

According to Regimental records, Walter was born in Salford but was certainly living in the Stockport area in 1913. On 28 June of that year he got married at St Thomas's Church to Elizabeth Ann Hill. Her family home was at 17 Vale Street, Stockport. Walter, then working as a hatter, lived nearby at Benett's Court.

He enlisted into the army in September 1914, just a few weeks after War was declared and joined the 12th Battalion which was just being formed at Ashton under Lyne. By then he had changed jobs and was working at Goyt Mill in Marple. He and Elizabeth had two children. It's not known where they were living but, in 1916, Elizabeth and the children were living at her parents' address on Vale Street.

On 15 July 1915, the newly trained Battalion left Folkestone to go on active service, arriving at Boulogne the following day. The coming weeks would be relatively quiet with the men undertaking periods in the trenches interspersed with long periods in reserve. New Years Day 1916 found them again in a rest camp, but the next day, they moved to trenches at the infamous Hill 60 near Ypres (now Ieper). This was a short tour of duty and the remainder of January was again spent in reserve billets.

Walter and his mates returned to the trenches on the 5th February and there was a noticeable increase in the intensity of enemy artillery shelling. On the 15th, "A" Company took over a redoubt near Voormezeele. It came under very heavy shelling during the day and Walter was one of eleven killed.

   
           
   
     
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