Walter Eugene Cockram

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Walter Eugene Cockram
Cockram Walter Eugene.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 26 Oct 1882
Place of Birth Kelmscott, Western Australia
Death 22 Jul 1947, aged 63
Place of Death Gosnells, Western Austalia
Age at Enlistment 33 years old
Description 5' 4" (1.63m) tall ; 130 lbs
58.967 kg
; fair complexion ; brown eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Dairyman
Religion Church of England
Address Albany road, Kelmscott
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Betsy Cockram (nee Buckingham)
Military Information
Reg Number 2311
Date of Enlistment 24 Jun 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 44th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement / 13th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 13 Oct 1916 ‒ 12 Dec 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A39 Port Macquarie Fremantle to Plymouth
Date of Return 1 Jun 1919 ‒ 8 Jul 1919
Ship Returned On SS Somali
Fate Wounded in Action 8 Sep 1918 east of Roisel, France
Returned to Australia
Monument Kelmscott War Memorial (West panel)
Gosnells Road Board Honour Roll
Gosnells Ward Honour Roll
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

In 1883 his father applied for the first public house licence for the Cannington area, before purchasing 1250 acres at Roleystone.

Walter married Clara Emily Elliot on 7 Mar 1906. Clara who was born in 1882, died in Cannington on 3 Dec 1906. Electoral Roll entries - 1906 - 1910 farmer in Albany road, Cannington;

War Service

While Walter signed his enlistment document son 2 Apr 1916, it was not until 8 May 1916 that he entered the Blackboy Hill camp. On 20 Jun 1916, Walter was allocated to the 4th reinforcement draft for the 44th Battalion, which enjoyed a longer than usual training period in Australia before travelling to England.

After spending Christmas 1916 and Jan 1917 with the 11th Training Battalion near Larkhill in England, Walter travelled to France from Folkestone on 4 Feb 1917 aboard the HMT Invicta where he joined the 44th in the vicinity of Armentiès on 8 Feb 1917. The battalion had just come out of the line for a period of rest and to provide working parties.

A year later without any incident being recorded in his records, Walter returned to England on 20 Feb 1918 for some leave, rejoining the 44th Battalion on 8 Mar 1918 in their rest area at Nieppe near Armentiès. He was with the battalion during their efforts to stop the German advance and then their pursuit up the Somme River valley.

The shelling, which affected Walter, included Blue Cross Gas Shells, occurred during the evening of 7th/8th Sep 1918 as his battalion was being replaced in the vanguard of the attacking force that had been clearing country between Péronne and the Hindenburg Outpost Line.

Walter received what was most likely a shell wound to his finger as well as suffering from being exposed to the gas shells. Seen first by the 9th Australian Field Ambulance on 8 Sep 1918, he was passed back to the 41st Casualty Clearing Station two days later before being admitted to the 5th General Hospital in Rouen on 11 Sep 1918. By 12 Sep 1918 he was well enough to be released to the No 2 Convalescent Depot in Rouen to recover, by which time Australian troops were being withdrawn from the fighting for the last time. On 14 Sep 1918 he was transferred to the No 11 Convalescent Depot, and on 5 Oct 1918 to a depot in Le Havre. On 15 Oct 1918 he began the journey to rejoin his unit, and reached them on 20 oct 1918 at Heucourt where they had been resting since being withdrawn from the lines.

Walter was granted leave in the UK from 5 - 19 Feb 1919 after which he rejoined the battalion before returning to the UK on 29 Mar 1919 when he was sent to the No. 1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny camp until his board departed for Australia.

Walter was discharged by the 5th Military District on 16 Aug 1919

Post War

WE Cockram of the 44th Battalion arriving on board the S.S. Somali[1]

On his return from England he married again, this time to Sarah Ann Brankin (1875-1959) on 29 Jun 1920. Electoral Roll entries - 1916 - 1943 Mills road, Gosnells, dairyman.


  1. "RETURNING SOLDIERS.". The West Australian. XXXV, (5,372). Western Australia. 26 June 1919. p. 6. Retrieved 30 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

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