Worth, Walter Garlick: Lieutenant

Digitized Service Record

Source: Taken on strength October 1916.

Several other officers of the 93rd served with the 18th. Lts. Eastwood, Might and Watt.

Find-A-Grave

Blog article pertaining to this man and his photographs.

Walter attended technical school in Bradford, Yorkshire with his brother Edgar.

Walter emigrated to Sweden to the United States and then to Canada where he owned a woolen mill.

He served in World War I in the 32nd Canadian Regt. and was wounded at the battle of Vimy Ridge on Easter morning 1917. He was shot in the jaw by a sniper. The sniper was captured and forced to carry Walter back to the hospital. The family at first was told he had been killed. He spent 3 or 4 months in a base hospital about 1918 or 1919. After recovering, he was “invalided” to London, where he met up with Harold Pilling, who had just arrived in time for the armistice. Harold was an enlisted man and Walter was an officer, but Walter lent Harold one of his civilian suits to wear so he could sneak him into the officer’s bars in London. Since Harold was a VERY large man and Walter was rather small, this was probably a funny sight. Harold and Walter went into partnership together after the war.

Later he came to South Pasadena, California when the rest of his family moved there. Walter’s divorced his first wife, Dagmar, soon after their marriage, and several years later married Lily. Walter had no children.

Source

Peterborough Examiner. May 8, 1917. Page 8.

Transcription of Article

LIEUT. WORTH TELLS OF THE VIMY FIGHT
Peterborough Officers Was Hit by Machine Gun Fire After Objective Had Been Reached and Position Was Being Consolidated.
SHOT THROUGH JAW

Lieut. Walter G. Worth of Peterborough, who went overseas with the 93rd Battalion, gives the following interesting description of the Vimy Ridge battle in a letter just received. His letter is as follows:

2nd Western Gen. Hospital
High Street, Manchester
April 17th, 1917

Dear Folks at Home.– Just a line to let you know how things are progressing with me. I dropped you a line on Saturday[i] as soon as I got in here, and also a cable, which I had a reply to yesterday. I was so glad to hear you were not worrying too much, as it might have been worse, and by this time many families will have received news of the death of their dear ones which took place in the same battle. You would notice from the tone of my letter[s] lately that we were expecting something to come off, but of course did not exactly know the time. The last two weeks before Easter we were out training for it, behind the lines, and had everything taped off as the actual part we were to go over. We got a good idea about it that way. We were first informed that it was to be Easter Sunday, “the better the day, the better the deed.” However, it was postponed twenty-four hours, and we spent Easter Sunday getting ready for it. It was a lovely day and the bands were playing all over; you would have though we were going to a picnic.

At 7:30 p.m. we moved off and it was a great sight to see all the men with all the extra equipment on for an attack. The boys were certainly fine when it comes down to the real thing, and every man was there on time. It was an 8-mile walk up to the line, and with the enormous number of troops that were moving all around you had to stay close together in the dark. We got up into our position about 2 a.m. and the trenches were knee-deep in water, so you can bet it wasn’t any too pleasant a stay there till 3.30. It kept me busy saying a few words to the men and see that they understood everything. At 5 a.m. I issued the rum which warms you up and just gives you that bit of extra nerve you require.

At 5.30 on the dot our guns opened up and you can’t imagine it; it is just as though someone was turning a handle, just one continuous roar. We jumped over just as it was nicely started and then the fun commenced. We slipped and fell all over the place. We had to keep waiting for our barrage to lift and then go a little further and so on till we reached our objective, about 600 yards. We then had to hold it for [40] minutes, and consolidate the position. I was feeling quite clever, and thought I was safe, and walked along getting my men together in one place and seeing that they were connected on the flanks. It was about 7 a.m. when I was hit. A machine gun got me and I can remember the crash till the end of my days. I thought a tank was coming and was going to run over me. I realized I was hit in the head, and thought it was all over with me, as I naturally bled very much. My stretcher-bearer was handy and put me a dressing on, and by that time I felt that I could get up and two men were detailed to take me back and lost their bearings and were taking me to the German line. It was a good thing that I was conscious enough to notice it. We finally got right and struck a former German dugout, where I decided to have a rest. The 21st Battalion had taken it over as their advance headquarters, and their doctor was there and gave me every attention.

I stayed there a couple of hours till the fighting moved further on, and then got assisted back to our H.Q., but you may be sure it was a struggle as I was wet through to my knees and for every step I took I got cramps in my legs, and you know that sensation, but I eventually got there and our doctor looked me over and started me on my way. I was sorry to hear there that my Company [Commander][ii] was killed halfway across, and another officer[iii] got a bad one through the chin, before me, so that made three out of four, which appears rather bad, but amongst the men, the casualties were much lighter. From our H.Q. I got a life on a light artillery [railway], and made some Fritzies push me for a couple of miles, and then after that between walking and ambulances I reached a decent hospital the following morning.[iv]

It was a strange one kept running into friends from different battalions and getting news of others. Jack Watt[v] came over with a sprained ankle. All cases who are able to travel get through to England as soon as possible se as to avoid congestion. When you get here you are sent wherever there are vacancies, and I was surprised to get here although I am perfectly satisfied as it is a lovely place and splendid staff throughout. The food is splendid, and plentiful, and I shall be glad when I can take everything. As yet I can only swallow liquids, but am not starving. For breakfast, I have a good portion of porridge and a scrambled egg; lunch, soup and pudding, and dinner, same; so you see I don’t do so bad. The time passes very nicely as we are about 24 together in this room. I have my wound dressed three times during the day, and same at night. The side the bullet went in on, the hole is very small, but in passing through it took a few teeth and part of my jawbone with it, and consequently made rather a gash on the left side. I have a tube in it and they keep getting a lot of stuff out each time and they say it is cleaning up fine. My gums are badly swollen yet and teeth tender; so I am not exactly comfortable yet, also you will know I cannot clean my mouth properly, and have a nasty taste most of the time. However, I notice an improvement each day and before long I should be more comfortable. The doctor does not say anything about an operation, as far; there might be some little cleaning up to do inside later on. One thing sure, I will have to see the dentist, worse luck. Well, never mind. I am worth many a dead on yet, and I am out of it for three months, anyway.


[i] April 15, 1917. The attack at Vimy was on April 9. He arrived at 2nd Western General Hospital on April 14, 1917.

[ii] Major C.C. Gwyn was reported in the War Diary as being killed by a machine gun bullet 100 yards from the Company’s objective.

[iii] This is most likely Lieutenant C.E. Tuck who was wounded in the neck and face.

[iv] No. 1 British Red Cross Hospital, Le Tourquet, France. AKA as Duchess of Westminster’s Hospital. 150 beds.

[v] Possibly Lieutenant John McLelland Watt, of the 93rd Battalion. Both men joined this battalion and served together.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfdzhBnneyE

Video Description: Inman family around 1930, Yorkshire, England. Film shot (probably) by Walter Garlick Worth, who was visiting from California. The Inmans were well-to-do industrialists who were friends of the Worth family (who were in the woolen mill business0.

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2 thoughts on “Worth, Walter Garlick: Lieutenant

Add yours

  1. There needs a touch up on story. It was amazing the censor allowed him to mention the 21st Bn. His account is correct and he plays the rules not mentioning what battalion he was with.

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