Private 41237 Walter William Ager  DCM


Walter William Ager was born in 1885 to farm labourer, William Ager and his wife Alice in Mendlesham Green, near Stowmarket, Suffolk.

Walter followed his father into farm work as a cowherd boy and then becoming a shepherd.

In November 1915 he joined the Suffolk Regiment as Private 33556 and at some stage was transferred to the 2nd Essex Regiment where he became Private 41237. The service records for Private Ager is not one of those to have survived so no exact date can be ascertained.

In October 1918 Walter Ager was part of the 2nd Essex who were fighting at Famars which was just outside Valenciennes.

On 28 October 1918 the Germans attacked the British positions and captured some ground. There was an immediate counter attack which recaptured the lost ground and added about 150 yards of new territory.

During this operation the war diary records 4 other ranks killed, 11 other ranks injured and 1 other rank missing.

Sadly this other rank missing was Walter Ager. His body was never identified and his death is commemorated in the memorial at Vis en Artois.

Prior to his death Private Ager was involved in distinguished action for which on 16 January 1919 he was awarded the DCM.

The citation reads

North of Bury, he and another man were the only two left with a Lewis gun and much of the ammunition was lost. Collecting drums from derelict guns, they worked there way around to a flank of the company and brought enfilade fire to bear on the enemy which materially assisted the infantry advance. During consolidation they pushed ahead and kept down hostile fire, one working the gun and the other collecting ammunition.