DOLPHIN Walter John
Regiment : 2nd Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment
Service number : 50582
Conflict : WW1
Date of death : 11th August 1918 aged 19
Buried : Niederzwehren Cemetery, Germany, Grave VIII. F.10.
Relatives : Son of John and Alice Dolphin, 3 Church Row, Pershore, Worcestershire
Memorial : Pershore Abbey
Also appears on : Pershore C of E School now in Pershore Working Men's Club
Additional information on the memorial: Royal Berkshire Regiment
Schools in Defford Road. Son of John Dolphin. Was in Berkshire Regiment. Taken prisoner 27th May 1918 having gone to France January 1917. Died suddenly in September 1918.
Additional information from Pershore Parish Records, Holy Cross, Film No 216/7, available at Worcestershire Archives.
The following research on Walter Dolphin is courtesy of Mark Dewdney:
Walter Dolphin did not enlist until March 1917 and was immediately placed in the reserves being only 17 years and 9 months old. He was mobilised in June 1917 (probably on 9th June); shortly after his 18th birthday. His prisoner of war (POW) records held with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) show that he was taken prisoner around Pontavert (about 20 kilometres North North East of Reims) on 27th May 1918. This is consistent with the position of his unit, the 2nd Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment on that date. This was the first day of the Third Battle of the Aisne when the Germans attacked in the area. The ICRC records give his date of birth as 7th May 1899 – that matches his declared age on enlistment. The few scraps of records do not confirm when he went to France. He was in hospital in Norfolk at the end of February – early March 1918 with “PUO” (pyrexia of unknown origin). He died in a POW camp in Cassel (now Kassel), Hesse, Germany. His cause of death is unknown. The POW camp was near to where he is now at rest.
He had 2 other service numbers before his Royal Berkshire number. It is not clear from surviving scraps of documents which was the first regiment he served with although he probably enlisted in the Worcestershire Regiment, was transferred to the Royal Warwickshires after he was mobilised in June 1917 and subsequently to the Royal Berks when he went overseas. This is merely a supposition based on experiences.
Trudy Burge has created the WW1 Pershore website to commemorate the men from Pershore who served their country from 1914 to 1918: