Private Walter Pascoe
3rd Battalion, AIF
Service Number: 7558
Born: 1899, Dubbo, NSW
Died: 15 August 1918, Vecquemont, France
Walter Reuben Pascoe was born in Dubbo in 1899, the son of Michael and Mary Ann Pascoe. The family lived in Gibbes Street Dubbo. Mary Ann married Denis McAuliffe in 1912. By 1915, his family had moved to Union Street, Penrith and by 1917 to Belmore Street. McAuliffe was a railway worker.
Pascoe enlisted on 10 April 1917 in Sydney. At the time of his enlistment, he was living in Riley Street Surry Hills and was working as a motor mechanic. He left for England on board HMAT Marathon on 10 May 1917 and arrived at Devonport on 20 July. He had several AWOL offences in England during his training. He transferred to the 3rd Battalion on 25 August 1917, but from January to March 1918 he was absent without leave, having a good time in London. For that he spent over a month in detention.
Pascoe was in France by June 1918. In the early hours of 14 August at Rosieres-en-Santerre in the Somme Valley, while Pascoe was at his Lewis Gun, a shell burst close by, badly wounding him in the head. He was transferred to the 53rd Casualty Clearing Station near Vecquemont, and died there on 15 August. In his will, dated 2 May 1917, he left everything to his mother. On 21 September 1918, his mother inserted this poem in remembrance of her son –
He marched away so bravely
His young head proudly held
His footsteps never, faltered
His courage never failed
His King and Country called him
The call was not in vain
On Australia’s roll of honor
You will find our dear Walter’s name.
Pascoe’s brother Alexander enlisted in 1915. He spent most of his time either AWOL or in detention. In September 1919 he was ‘despatched under escort’ for his return to Australia. Upon return, his remaining sentence was remitted and his services were ‘no longer required’. Another brother, Joseph enlisted in January 1916 under the name, Herbert Francis McAuliffe. However, at the end of February he was discharged with the remark – ‘not likely to become an efficient soldier’.
- Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, France
- Honor Roll, Memory Park, Penrith