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Walter George Sutch

Served with Essex County Constabulary from Aug 15, 1914 and died on Mar 7, 1916.

Walter George Sutch was born in 1895 in Hatfield Broad Oak, Essex. He was the son of Henry George and Clara Sutch who had earlier lived at 126, Kilmorie Road, Forest Hill, London. From the inscription on his grave it is known that there were at least five children in the family. About the turn of the century Henry Sutch was an Essex policeman, patrolling the highways of North Weald.

When he was nineteen years old Walter, a single man, followed his father's footsteps and joined Essex Constabulary as Police Constable 110. Nine months later he went to a recruiting office in London where he volunteered for Military Service and was enlisted as Lance Corporal M2/106189 of 401st Mechanical Transport Company of the Army Service Corps. Little is known of his Military Service other than that he was posted to 1st/2nd (Lancashire) Heavy Battery and served on the Western Front.

On March 7, 1916, aged twenty, he died suffering from diabetes whilst still on active service. He is buried in grave Div. 19. T. 1 within Ste. Marie Cemetery, Le Havre, Seine Maritime, France. The inscription on his grave, made at the request of his family, reads: 'FOR EVER IN OUR MEMORIES. MUM, DAD, BROTHERS AND SISTERS.'

The cemetery is a communal cemetery located in the district of Graville-St Honorine, Le Havre. In all 1,689 Commonwealth casualties of the First World War are buried or commemorated in the cemetery. The Commonwealth War Graves are located in a number of separate locations within this large communal cemetery and, as a consequence, the settings of some of the graves are less attractive than those in the majority of the Commonwealth War Grave Cemeteries.

During the First World War Le Havre was one of the ports at which the British Expeditionary Force disembarked in August 1914. Except for a short interval during the German advance in 1914 it remained No. 1 Base throughout the war and by the end of May 1917, it contained three general and two stationary hospitals and four convalescent depots. It is very probable that Walter Sutch became ill whilst serving in the front line somewhere in northern France and was then transferred to a hospital at Le Havre with a view to being transported back to England. Sadly he never recovered from his illness.

A memorial in Ste. Marie Cemetery marks the graves of 24 casualties from the hospital ship 'Salta' and her patrol boat, sunk by mine on April 10, 1917. The memorial also commemorates, by name the soldiers, nurses and merchant seamen lost from the 'Salta' whose bodies were not recovered and those lost in the sinking of the hospital ship 'Galeka' (mined on October 28,1916.) and the transport ship 'Normandy' (torpedoed on January 25,1918.), whose graves are not known.

On June 7, 1916, the Chief Constable reported to the Police Authority 'Walter Sutch died on 7th March, 1916, when on active service in France from Diabetes. He was a bachelor - no pension no gratuity.'

'No one cares less than I,
Nobody knows but God,
Whether I am destined to lie
Under a foreign clod,'
Were the words I made to the bugle call in the morning.
Lieutenant Edward Thomas
( Killed 9th April, 1917.)

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