WW1 Medals and Death Plaque to a West Yorkshire Regiment Lieutenant

We are delighted and honoured to add to our inventory a very poignant and emotive First World War Medal Pair and Memorial Plaque, which is the British War Medal and Victory Medal to Walter Forster Knight of the West Yorkshire Regiment. The Bradford Pals Regiment.

knight medals below

Walter Knight was killed in action on the 27th February 1917. As can be seen we also have his Death Plaque. The medals are named to Lieut W F Knight.

This photo is believed to be Walter Forster Knight as an Officer Cadet Training.


His Commonwealth War Graves Commission Certificate records him serving in 14th Battalion, attached to 16th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment, Prince of Wales’s Own. He in remembered with honour in Owl Trench Cemetery, Hebuterne, Pas de Calais, France. He was 28 years old.

walter forster knight cwgc cert

His Medal Index Card confirms his entitlement to the Medal Pair and this is his full entitlement. It also confirms that he was killed in action 27th February 1917. His rank is marked as T/Lt however the T has been crossed out. The MIC records his widow’s address as Allerton Lodge, Chapel Allerton, Leeds. The CWGC Certificate names her as Emily Bertha Knight living at 159 Rushmore Road, Clapton, London.

walter forster knight mic

“Owl Trench” was a German cross-trench before Rossignol Wood, raided by the 4th New Zealand Rifle Brigade on 15 July 1918, and cleared by the 1st Auckland Regiment five days later. The cemetery, however, contains the graves of men who died on 27 February 1917, in an attack on German rearguards by the 31st Division.

The village of Hebuterne was in Allied hands from 1915 until the German advance of March 1918 when part of it had to be given up. The eastern part of the commune remained in German hands until February 1917, and was theirs again in the summer of 1918.

Hebuterne is a village in the department of the Pas de Calais situated 15 kilometres north of Albert (Somme) and 20 kilometres south-west of Arras. The Cemetery is situated 2 kilometres to the east of the village on the road between Foncquevillers and Puisieux.

The cemetery contains 53 First World War burials. Row A is a mass grave for 46 soldiers, 43 of whom belonged to the 16th West Yorkshires. Ten of the burials in the cemetery are unidentified. Here follows the list of soldiers from his regiment, The West Yorkshire Regiment who also died on the 27th February 1917. (ack CWGC). These are from the 1st Bradford Pals Regiment.

Captain GEOFFREY AMBLER ARMITAGE,  Lieutenant WALTER FORSTER KNIGHT, 16/622 Serjeant WALTER ERNEST BUNCLARK, 16/804 Serjeant  HARRISON, 16/68 Corporal  BOND, 20/96 Corporal  DEAKIN, 16/387 Corporal  FEATHER, 16/424 Corporal  GRAVES, 24199 Corporal CLIFFORD KEIGHLEY, 32407 Lance Corporal FREDERICK SUTHERLAND MAIR, 40414 Lance Corporal  McGUIRE, 16/1172 Lance Corporal  NETTLETON, 16/781 Lance Corporal  NEWSHOLME, 32843 Lance Corporal ERNEST PRATT, 16/413 Lance Serjeant HENRY ARNOLD LITTLE, 9440 Private  ABREY, 38308 Private ERNEST CHAPMAN, 38591 Private  DOUGLAS, 37480 Private  GREEN, 38022 Private BERNARD GREENWOOD, 15481 Private LEONARD HAINSWORTH, 5277 Private  HANNAN, 16/1161 Private HERBERT HARDY, 38102 Private GEORGE THOMAS HARTLEY, 2158 Private  HOLDSWORTH, 40426 Private  HOWDEN, 40203 Private  IVES, 15515 Private HORACE JACKSON, 28892 Private WILFRED JAGGAR, 23798 Private SAMUEL JOHNS, 22010 Private JOHN MARTIN, 16/1488 Private JAMES MORTON, 35063 Private  MOUNTAIN, 35187 Private  MYERS, 32947 Private  NAUGHTON, 40206 Private  NAYLOR, 17/1584 Private  PALMER, 16/509 Private  POWELL, 33220 Private  ROBSHAW, 32405 Private  SENIOR, 40853 Private  SMITH, 37233 Private  SMITH, 38680 Private WILFRED RAYMOND STAKER SMITH,

There is a detailed account of the action in which these soldier died in the book  The Bradford Pals by Ralph N Hudson. Lieutenant Knight is named in this book in Chapter 6 entitled Gommecourt Park and Rossignol Wood.

These medals and the plaque are for sale and we invite offers. We exhibit at the Militaria Market in Arundel, West Sussex and we would be pleased to meet there to show this lot.

It can also be seen that there is a spelling difference between his middle name spelling. The plaque shows Foster, the CWGC Certificate shows Forster. His MIC is filed under Forster. Mistakes like this were not uncommon and can be forgiven when dealing in the high numbers and the general chaos of war.


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