Name: Walter Oswald Becker
Service Number: 504
Units Served: 27th Infantry Battalion
Walter Oswald Becker was born in August 1896, Parents Carl Heinrich and Pauline Elizabeth Becker, Saddleworth, South Australia. Walter had a brother who served in the war as well but came back to Australia on the 23rd March 1919.
Walter was a single labourer. He did not have any other family other then his brother and parents. He was aged 18 years and 5 months old when he enlisted, was 5’9’ tall and weighed 152lbs, he had grey eyes, Dark hair and dark complexion.
Enlistment Details: Walter enlisted on the 23rd February 1916 in Brownlow South Australia, and was assigned to the 27th Battalion.
Details about his role in War:
Walter embarked from Adelaide on the ship HMAT Geelong on the 31st May 1915. He then proceeded to join the MEF (Mediterranean Expeditionary Force) in Gallipoli on the 4th September 1915. He was then awarded three days fatigue after being AWL (Absent Without Leave) for 1 day on the 22nd October 1915. He proceeded to join the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) on the 15th March 1915, and disembarked at Marseilles on the 21st March 1915. He was then given English leave on the 19th September 1916. He then rejoined from leave on the 30th September 1916 and was killed in action barely one month later on the 5th November 1916 during the battle of Flers-Courcelette, a distinguished battle that introduced the use of tanks to the Somme.
Age at Death: 20 years and 6 months
Cemetery or Memorial Details: Australian National War Memorial Villers-Bretonneux, France.
Both Walter and Richard Leonard Williams, another soldier I am commemorating at Villers-Bretonneux were killed on the same day during the same battle. They were in the same Battalion and grew up in hometowns within 10kms of one another. Before the war, the two soldiers had never met, now 94 years after their death, they share a great, great nephew- Richard Becker who resides in Auburn, South Australia.