21st February 1916

23-year-old Private Walter Tarver, a gardener by trade, was killed in action on 21st February at Etaples, France, serving with the 8th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment. His older brother, Harry, a baker, was also killed on active service.

Walter was born in Cubbington, near Leamington Spa, in 1893, the second youngest of four sons born to parents Thomas and Elizabeth who lived in the village. Harry and Walter both joined up in September 1914 and both are listed as being old boys of Cubbington School. Walter is commemorated on the war memorial at Berkswell but we haven’t been able to find his connection with the village, although there has been speculation that perhaps he worked as a gardener at Berskwell Hall. His brother Harry is not listed on the Berkswell memorial.

Walter is recorded on the Berkswell lych gate memorial as Pte W. Tarvey, died 1916, which caused us some difficulty in tracing him. It’s thanks to local researchers, who unearthed a roll of honour in the church, that the mystery was solved. The roll of honour listed a Walter Tarvey [sic], South Staffordshire Regiment, died 21st February 1916. The date and the regiment led us to Walter Tarver from Cubbington, which must be the same person commemorated at Berkswell.

Hospital records show that Walter received shrapnel wounds in his right foot, knee and left hand and he was admitted to a Casualty Clearing Station on 1st January 1916. We don’t have any information about how long he was in hospital for and whether these injuries contributed to his death the following month.

If you have any more information about Walter Tarver and his connection with Berkswell, please let us know.

Heritage & Local Studies Librarian

tel.: 0121 704 6977
email: heritage@solihull.gov.uk

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