Walter Alfred Brown was born on 29 August 1898 at 194 Taranaki St, Wellington to Leslie & Louisa Brown. Walter had five brothers and two sisters.
Walter served in the Wellington Infantry Regiment which was one of four regional infantry groupings (along with Auckland, Canterbury, and Otago) which made up the bulk of New Zealand’s infantry forces during the First World War. It served as the Wellington Battalion at Gallipoli in 1915 before being divided into 1st Wellington Infantry Battalion and 2nd Wellington Infantry Battalion in March 1916. An additional battalion, 3rd Wellington Infantry Battalion, existed between March 1917 and February 1918. All battalions of the regiment served on the Western Front from 1916 until 1918.
The Wellington Infantry Battalion was made up of four companies, each with around 227 men. The Companies were:
- 7th (Wellington West Coast) Company
- 9th (Hawke’s Bay) Company
- 11th (Taranaki) Company
- 17th (Ruahine) Company
Based on Walters service records and photo he was a member of 17th (Ruahine) company - its cap and collar badges were a five-pointed star flanked by fern-fronds, with the scroll ‘Ruahine’ beneath. Their motto was Ad Unum Omnes (Together as one).
Walters service commenced on 16 October 2016, initially with basic training in Featherston and Trentham before setting sail for overseas on 19 January 2017 from Wellington on board the Ulimaroa troopship as part of the 21st Reinforcements. The ship arrived in Plymouth, UK on 27 March 1917.
Per his military records, Walter was wounded in action on 4 October 1917 although details of the wound are unknown.
Walter was married on 5 April 1919 to Louise Radford, whom he had met in the UK during his service. Louise first husband, Private Harold F. Richards of the 1st Royal Fusiliers, had been killed in Flanders in 1917. The marriage service took place at St Matthews Anglican Church in Brixton, London.
Walter left the UK on 8 September 1919 and arrived back in Wellington on 15 October 1919. He was discharged on 23 November 1919. In all Walter served for total of 3 years and 39 days of which he was overseas for 2 years and 281 days.
Walter and Louise had two daughters and a son (Ian) who later served in WW2.
Per his military records, Walter returned to the army on 3 September 1939 but was released two months later on 25 November 1939 and formally discharged on 1 September 1948.
Walter died in Wellington on 3 August 1961 of lung cancer and is buried at Karori Cemetery, Wellington. Public - Shaun - Direct descendant - 13 April 2019 - Military Personnel Records and Family Records