Photographs, family letter and extra information courtesy of Anthony.
Born: 1893, St, Clements, Ipswich.
Died: 5th November 1914; age 21; KiA.
Employed: Messrs. Ransome, Sims & Jefferies.
Enlistment Location: Warley, Essex; circa 1910.
Walter’s final cavalry training was at Curragh Camp, Curragh, County Kildare, Ireland.
Date of Entry Therein: 17th August 1914.
Rank: Lance Corporal; Service Number: 3227
Regiment: Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line, 16th Lancers (The Queens).
Medals Awarded: Victory, British War, 1914 Star + Clasp.
Relatives Notified: Son of Walter & Ellen Topple.
1901 Foxhall Road, Ipswich.
Walter was 7 years old and living with his parents & siblings.
Walter Isaac Topple, 33, an Iron Driller – Iron Foundry, born Ipswich.
Ellen Topple (nee Mansfield), 32, born Ipswich.
Alice Eliza Topple, 9, born Ipswich.
William Isaac Topple, 6, born Ipswich.
Ellen May Topple, 3, born Ipswich.
1911 The Barracks, Woolwich Common, Kent.
Walter was 20 years old, a Soldier ranked Private for the 16th Lancer’s.
A letter from The Soldiers & Sailors Families Association. Mrs Topple was keen to find out more about her son’s passing:
Jan 26 1915
I have received the answer sooner than I expected, as Lieutenant Isherwood is now in England.
“I didn’t actually know of L/Cpl. Topple, but I can tell you what we were doing. We were holding a ridge between Wychaste and Ploegsteert wood, it’s about 10 miles S.E. of Ypres. We got there in the evening of Nov. 3rd and dug ourselves in all that night, the Germans shelled us all day Nov. 4th, but did practically no damage; they started again as soon as it began to get light on Nov. 5th & kept it up the whole day, with their coalboxes, that is the official title of their big 200lbs. shells, & big high explosive shrapnel & ordinary shrapnel. They had the range exactly. C. squadron suffered the most & had 23, I think is was killed & wounded, my squadron & D. had about 15 each. They stopped shelling us about 4p.m. & made an infantry attack to try & turn us out, which was not successful from their point of view. C. squadron were in the middle, A. on their left & D. on their right, the French were on our left & the 4th Hussars on our right.”
I am very glad to have been able to procure this description of the fight in which your son was killed. It must be a satisfaction to you to know that he died in a fine action and helped to make a success for our army.
Anthony and his wife proudly holding his uncle’s portrait. Anthony’s earliest memory as a child was to visit his Grandmother’s house, where she kept for safe keeping in a draw Walters dress uniform, a much cherished item proudly worn by Walter on ceremonial occasions.