b. 27/05/1882 Frimley, Surrey. d. 26/04/1915 Gallipoli, Turkey.
Garth Neville Walford (1882-1915) was born on 27th May 1882, at Frimley, Surrey, the only son of Colonel Neville Lloyd Walford, Royal Artillery. He attended a prep school in Newbury before entering Harrow, his father’s old school, in the autumn of 1895. A period of ill health affected him greatly through 1896-1897, but he recovered and in 1900 he won the Sayer Scholarship, which earned him a place at Balliol College, Oxford.
He joined the Royal Artillery in 1902, where his abilities were swiftly recognised when he topped the list of university candidates. His first appointment was in the militia, in December of that year. He was appointed second lieutenant in December 1905, and two years later he married Betty Trefusis, the daughter of an army officer. The couple had two daughters.
When war broke out in 1914, Walford was at the Staff College and he went out to France in the middle of August, where he served with the 27th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. During the retreat from Mons, he was twice fortunate to escape shell bursts close by him. One caused superficial wounds to both arms, and the other blew off his cap without harming him. He saw action at the Battle of the Aisne in September, and was evacuated home ill later that month.
Promoted to captain in October 1914, he returned to the brigade at Ypres, where he held a number of temporary staff appointments. In January 1915, he was summoned home to take up a new appointment, as brigade major Royal Artillery, with the newly constituted 29th Division destined for the Dardanelles. After a brief spell in Leamington Spa, he sailed for Egypt in March 1915. He arrived in Lemnos on 12th April and he joined a party of senior officers to observe a naval bombardment.
On 26th April, 1915, subsequent to a landing having been effected on the beach at a point on the Gallipoli Peninsula, during which both Brigadier-General and Brigade Major had been killed, Lieutenant-Colonel Doughty-Wylie and Captain Walford organised and led an attack through and on both sides of the village of Sedd el Bahr on the Old Castle at the top of the hill inland. The enemy's position was very strongly held and entrenched, and defended with concealed machine-guns and pom-poms. It was mainly due to the initiative, skill and great gallantry of these two Officers that the attack was a complete success. Both were killed in the moment of victory.
He was buried close to where he fell at Sedd el Bahr, and was later re-interred at the V Beach Cemetery, Gallipoli. In addition to his VC, he was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal 1914-20 and Victory Medal 1914-19. They are not publicly held.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NOT PUBLICLY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: V BEACH CEMETERY, GALLIPOLI, TURKEY.
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
ROW O GRAVE 1
RA Chapel, Woolwich
Camberley, Surrey (October 2016)
War Illustrated, 29th September 1917
Officers Mess, Sandhurst (Thomas Stewart)