Walter Broom was the son of Robert and Emma Broom of Oakham and was born in the spring of 1898. He served as a Private in the 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment and was killed in action on 19 September 1918, aged 20. The day before, the Leicestershires had been ordered to move up from Kirchner Copse near Fresnoy-Le-Petit outside St Quentin to attack a German stronpoint known as the Quadrilateral. According to the Battalion war diary, heavy enemy shelling caused a number of casualties and the men did not get into their new positions until 4pm. They spent the night dug in before preparing to attack at 5.30am. A slightly confused picture emerges of the subsequent battle. The first objectives were taken easily before the Leicestershires got held up by uncut barbed wire and German machine guns. They were unable to go any further and after a heavy day's fighting were finally withdrawn. The war diary says the cost of the day's action to 10 officers and 280 men becoming casualties. Walter was one of these. He has no know grave and today is commemorated on Panel 5 of the Vis-en-Artois memorial in France and also on the war memorial in the grounds of All Saints' Church in Oakham. Walter had two brothers, two sisters and a half-brother and half-sister from his mother's previous marriage.
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