Header image alt text

Jamie and Sue's Website

Walter Needham

Biography of Private Walter Needham (24852)
1st South Staffordshire Regiment
Died 20th April 1917

under Construction


Walter Needham

Date of birth:

Place of Birth:
Thurlby, Lincolnshire, England

Date of Birth registration:
Jan – Feb 1889

Place of Birth Registration:
Bourne, Lincolnshire, England



Wife’s Name:
Elizabeth Ellen Rowlett

Date of Marriage:

Place of Marriage:
Bourne District, Lincolnshire

Wife’s Date of birth:

Wife’s Place of Birth:

Wife’s father:
Edward Rowlett

Wife’s Mother:
Annie Mary Loud

Ernest E Needham, 1914, Bourne
Ethel A Needham, 1916, Bourne


Father’s Name:
John William Needham

Father’s DOB:

Father’s Place of Birth:
Thurlby, Lincolnshire, England

Father’s Occupation:
Timber Feller

Mother’s Name:
Eliza (Eva) Kemp

Mother’s DOB:

Mothers POB:
Laxfield, Suffolk, England

Mother’s Occupation:

Their Marriage:
1885 Bourne District

Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)
John W Needham, 1886, Thurlby
Emily Needham, 1888, Thurlby
Walter Needham, 1889, Thurlby
Kate Needham, 1892, Thurlby
Joseph Needham, 1896, Thurlby
George Needham, 1900, Thurlby
Ivy Daisy Needham, 1907, Northorpe (half sister)
Stanley William Needham, 1910, Northorpe (half brother)

1891 Census:
Walter is living with his parents at Northorpe Street, Thurlby, Lincolnshire

1901 Census:
Walter is living with his parents at Bottom Northorpe, Thurlby, Lincolnshire

1911 Census:
Walter is living with the Reeve family in Moulton Marsh, Lincolnshire. The census gives him an age of 22 and he is listed as a waggoner on farm.

Relatives in services:
Walter cousin Herbert Rowe also fought and were killed in WW1. Herbert can be found on our page dedicated to the Thurlby War Memorial.

Newspaper Mentions

Grantham Journal Saturday 19th May 1917
LOCAL CASUALTIES. Corpl Jos Brown son of Mr and Mrs Brown of Eastgate, Bourne is in hospital at Hampton Court suffering from wounds in his back and right hand. He is one of six sons, five of whom are in the army. Pte G Sherwin, son of Mr and Mrs Luke Sherwin, Bourne who some months ago was officially notified as wounded and missing, is now reported dead. The official notification of Pte Sherwin’s death was received by his parents last week. A memorial service for Pte Sherwin and Pte W Needham was held on Sunday at the Abbey Church. Official notification has this week been received that Corpl E Robinson, son of Mr and Mrs John Robinson, Woodview, Bourne has been Killed in action. Corpl Robinson was attached to the Lincolns.

ROLL OF HONOUR – Another well-known village lad has made the great sacrifice, in the person of Pre Walter Needham, whose father has recently heard the sad news. The second son of Mr William Needham of Northorpe, Pte Needham had been in the Army for two years. He was a quiet industrious lad and much respected in the village.

Military Records

Attestation Papers:
None found

WW1 Soldier’s Records:
None found

Soldier’s Died In The Great War:
These records show that Private Walter Needham, 24852, 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment was killed in action on 20th April 1917 in the Western European Theatre in France and Flanders.

Pension Records:
Not yet available

Medal Card Index:
Walter’s medal card index states that he was eligible for the following medals:-
The British Medal
The Victory Medal

UK:Bourne, Roll of Honour in Bourne Abbey Church
Bourne War Memorial in the Memorial Gardens
Thurlby, Roll of Honour in St Firmin’s Church

Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
In memory of Private Walter Needham, 24852, 1st Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment who died on 20 April 1917, Age 28
Son of John William and Eliza Needham; husband of Elizabeth Ellen Neddham of 8 Waterside, Willoughby Rd, Bourne, Lincs.

Remembered with honour, Ervillers Military Cemetery.

More information:

Military Service Timeline:

Walter enlisted in Bourne and was posted to the 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment.

He completed 2 years service and so its fair to say that his enlistment must have been around Spring of 1915.

As we do not have access to Walter’s full military records we can only really talk about the final month of his life with any certainty.

The Battalion started April 1917 in Courcelles-Le-Compte undertaking preparations for a 2nd attack on Groisilles. Moved up at 8.20pm

2nd April- attack on enemy lines 5-15am. Attack a complete success. Casualties 1 officer and 26 other ranks wounded. 22 prisoners taken by Battalion. Relieved by 2nd Royal Warwicks at 11pm. Returned to former Billets at Courcelles.

3rd April – cleaning up. Moved to Puisieux at 2pm

4th April – Resting and cleaning up generally

5th 6th 7th April – whole Battalion employed on Railway construction.

8th April – Sunday, Devine services held

9th April – Battalion employed in repairing roads

10th April – General training. Weather very bad, falls of snow

11th April – training during forenoon, moved to Logeast Wood in afternoon. Heavy falls of rain and snow.

12th April – Battalion returned to former Billets at Puisieux.

13th April – Weather improved, General Training.

14th April – Half Battalion employed on working parties, remainder training

15th April – Enemy attacked and temporarily occupied Lagnicourt. Battalion stood to to assist in retaking it if necessary but retaken by Anzacs. Stood down at 10:30am and 380 men on fatigue duties.

16th April – portion of Battalion working parties, remainder training.

17th April- heavy fall of snow. Battalion moved to Gomiecourt coming under orders of 187th infantry brigade.

18th April – Battalion relieved 21st Manchesters in trenches south east of Croiselles. Relief complete at 12:40am 19th

19th April – trench duty, A company heavily shelled at railway embankment (Sheet 51B.U.25)
Casualties 1 officer wounded, 2 other ranks killed, 8 other ranks wounded.

20th April – as above casualties 1 officer wounded, 3 other ranks killed and 20 other ranks wounded. Heavy shelling.

21st April – as above casualties 5 other ranks wounded. Relieved by 2nd Gordons at 11:50pm to camp at A.30.c.7.7 near Gomiecourt.

Walter died of wounds on 20th April 1917 likely from the shelling of the 19th or 20th April in the trenches at the railway embankment.

This is ongoing research and will be posted when completed.