Edward Atherstone Walmisley

1887 Nov 4. Born 7 King's Terrace, Southsea

1891 census at Portsea, Hants

1901 census at a Boarding School at Trafalgar House, Crofton, Fareham, Hampshire, England

1906 Jun 15 Arrives in Canada from UK. He is a "farm labourer"

1909 Feb 21. Arrives in USA from UK. He is an Architect in transit to Canada

1912 Mar 18 . Marriage to Violet Eola Robertson (Pritchard) . Age: 24 Portsmouth Register Office by licence

1912 Mar 28 Arrives in USA from UK . He is an Architect bound for Canada. His new wife is not with him

1914 Aug 15 Commissioned 2nd Lt in West Surrey Reg

1914 Dec 13. War Diary. In the trenches. Our working parties & some of ourselves (the Officers), came under a particularly unpleasant burst of machine gun fire today. We were to have left the trenches tomorrow but the B.G.C. has asked The Queens to stay in until the 15th so that we can carry out an attack on part of the enemy's line on the night of the 14th December 1914. Owing to the machine gun fire & particularly severe sniping, no more work could be carried out in communication trenches today. Strength - 19 Officers & 937 Other Ranks. 2nd Lieutenant Butterworth to Hospital. 2nd Lieutenants A.E. Walmsley & R.H. O'Brien joined. 6 men to Hospital. 1 man from Hospital.

1914 Dec 19 At daybreak Germans were seen beckoning to our men to come out & collect the wounded & bury the dead. Several of our Officers, including the Medical Officer & 30 men went out. About 50 Germans & 10 German Officers also came out & there was a local armistice. A sniper on our right killed one Officer of the South Staffords & one of our men but there was no firing from our front. The Germans buried a lot of our dead & we collected wounded, some of whom were taken into the German trenches & others into ours. As our dead & wounded were mostly near the German wire the enemy took possession of their rifles etc. Our Officers conversed with the German Officers & unfortunately two of our Officers, 2nd Lieutenant Rought & 2nd Lieutenant Walmisley were enticed into the German trenches & taken prisoner, so also were 7 stretcher bearers. These Officers & men were not missed until after the armistice. The local armistice was brought to a suden close owing to one of our guns shelling the enemy's trenches. Our losses were: Queens 'C' Company - Captain Fearon - Wounded. Queens 'D' Company - Captain Lee - Wounded. Queens 'C' Company - Lieutenant Allan - Wounded. Queens 'C' Company - 2nd Lieutenant Butterworth - Wounded. Queens 'D' Company - 2nd Lieutenant Ramsay - Killed. Queens 'C' Company - 2nd Lieutenant Rought - Captured. Queens 'D' Company - 2nd Lieutenant Walmisley - Captured. NCO's & Men - 27 Killed. NCO's & Men - 16 Missing. NCO's & Men - 39 Wounded. NCO's & Men - 7 Captured. Total = 8 Officers & 89 Other Ranks. 9 to Hospital. 2 to Prison. Strength - 14 Officers & 865 Other Ranks.

1914 Dec 26. The Queens in trenches on Boxing Day. The armistice re-commenced as arranged at 0900 hours. A large number of German Staff Officers appeared during the day, all were immaculately dressed without a speck of mud on them, mostly in fur lined coats. They furnished us with a list of British Officers lately taken prisoner and asked that their relatives might be informed. They also promised to try and obtain the release of 2nd Lieutenants Rought & Walmisley, who had been taken prisoner during the armistice on the 19th instant.

National Archives, piece WO374/59326, service record of Charles Gardner Rought. The text is from his own notes explaining the circumstances of his capture. A completely inexperienced soldier, Rought was well-known before the war as a rower of international standard and was one of the coxed four that won a gold medal for Great Britain at the 1912 Olympic Games. He enlisted into the Artist’s Rifles on 4 August 1914 (the day that war was declared) and was sent to France on 28 October 1914. The 2nd Queen’s war diary describes him as one of four probationary Second Lieutenants who joined on 13 November. Rought remained in enemy hands until returning to England on 20 November 1918. Second Lieutenant Edward Atherstone Walmisley was even less experienced, for he landed in France only on 10 December and joined the battalion three days later. 21 year-old Lieutenant Duncan Gavin Ramsay was killed in the attack and according to Commonwealth War Graves Commission records was originally buried in the churchyard at Fleurbaix: this implies that his body was brought in from no man’s land. Ramsay was an officer of the Royal Sussex Regiment, attached to the 2nd Queen’s from 12 November 1914. "

The majority of the men killed were more than half way across no man’s land and close to the wire defences, which meant that search and burial parties were working near the German trenches. It was as a result of this proximity that two officers of the Queen’s were taken prisoner: this was not noticed until the ceasefire was ended by British shellfire. One of those who went into captivity was Second Lieutenant Charles Gardner Rought of C Company:

I was working until well into the night, with rescue parties. Many of our wounded were lying close up to the enemy lines and we had been unable to get to them. The men in our trenches stood to arms the whole night as we were expecting a counter-attack and just as it was growing light I heard some of them say the enemy were leaving their trenches. I looked over our parapet and saw some Germans bending over our wounded, but almost simultaneously some of our men fired and the Germans disappeared. About an hour later the Germans showed themselves again and our men were told not to fire. Seeing our doctor standing on the parapet and going out, and thinking I should be of help in getting some of the wounded in, (and also that by being in no man’s land I might show our men that the Germans intended letting us bring in our wounded and that they must not fire) I followed the doctor out and, after looking at a few men I found to be dead, heard the Germans calling ‘we are peaceful, we are peaceful, take your comrades’. I [went off] to the right to a point in the German advanced trench where I thought I might find Lieut. Ramsay, who we thought had been wounded the previous evening.

As I got up to the first line which was partly a firing trench and partly a natural ditch cross-wired, I saw a number of our wounded and was just starting to lift a man when a German soldier called ‘Officer?’. I said ‘yes’ and he replied ‘our officer wishes to speak to you’. [The officer said] that our men might take back the wounded but the rifles must be left where they were. This demand I thought quite reasonable and shouted to the men within earshot accordingly. The German officer made one or two further remarks, amongst other things he said, pointing to our dead and wounded, ‘the Englishmen are very brave’.  I was now standing close to a sap, running from the advanced trench to the main firing line, and started to move off to lift one of our fellows who was lying close by. Several of our NCOs and men were by this time hard at work amongst Germans, who were also helping to rescue the wounded – but the German officer caught my arm and said I was not to go. For a moment I remonstrated and after saying something in German, the officer said ‘war is war’. I made some remark in which I used the word ‘treachery’, whereupon I was pulled by some soldiers, evidently by command of their officer, into their sap and drawn into their main trench. The officer, holding a revolver to my chest, said that if I repeated my remarks he would shoot me. He cooled somewhat and stated that I must see his commandant and with his permission might return to my own lines, but as I had seen their position he must keep me.

It was now I noticed Lieut. Walmisley and saw the Germans taking his equipment from him. He was about 20 yards distant and they brought him and one or two men and sent us down their trench under escort. As we passed, away to our left we could still see Germans mixed up with our men attending to the wounded in no man’s land. We were harangued by an officer with a red cross band round his arm. Speaking fluent English he said we had fired on the white flag and were to be shot.

According to the 2nd Queen’s diary, it was during the ceasefire that a German sniper picked off Lieutenant Henry Bower of the 1st South Staffords, killing him instantly. Half of his battalion had now moved up into the trenches from which the 2nd Royal Warwickshires had attacked, and Bower – who had himself been wounded during the First Battle of Ypres – was shot while helping bring in the Warwicks’ wounded. The Staffords’ diary times his death at about 8.30am, about the time that Rought and Walmisley were being taken prisoner.The somewhat nervous truce ended not long afterwards.

1916 Apr 21. Promoted Lt

1917 May 5. Promoted Capt.

1917 Sep 11. Repatriated

1918 Mar 28 Seconded to RAF

1918 Jul 30 Relinquishes RAF commission on ceasing to be employed.

1920 Apr 1. Relinquishes his commission as Capt in West Surrey Regt. Gazetted out as Capt

1920 May 27 Essex rat catcher. He was released from his contract at his own request in early 1921

1921 Jan 26 Joined ADRIC with service no 1601. Posted to O Coy

1921 Feb 4, Posted to H Coy

Fined 2 days pay by Coy Commander

1922 Jan 19. Discharged on demobilisation of ADRIC

1922 Mar 29. Joined the British Gendarmerie section of the Palestine Police as a Sergeant

1924 Nov 1. Leaves UK for Tanzanyika. He is with Crown Agents

1927 May 26. Arrives in UK from Dar es Salaam. He is an Architect living in Tanganyika

1940 Mar 4. R. Capt . Edward Atherstone WALMISLEY (123382) , late The Queen's R. , to be Lt .

1941 Dec 24. Capt E A Walmisley transferred to Pioneer Corps

1949 Nov 21. Arrives USA from UK. Tourist class with a re-entry permit

1952 Became a naturalised US Citizen

1988 Died Laguna Beach, California aged 101 (Cn California Death Index, with right birth date and mother)