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Walter Baggley  


Walter Baggley was born 1919, in or around Lincoln.  During World War 2 the family was living on Fulbeck Heath, where Walter had been working as a tractor driver for Mr Henson of Caythorpe Heath.  

In 1940 Walter was a territorial army soldier in 4th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment.   His unit was mobilised and sent to Norway.  They may have been the first British soldiers to come into contact with the advancing Germans at the battle of Steinkjer in April 1940.  Lacking the equipment to operate in 2-3 ft of snow and under constant air attack they pulled back to Tronhem fford and were evacuated on a French warship.  A few weeks after reaching Scapa Flow they were sent abroad again to Iceland, where they spent the next 2 years training as alpine troops.  In the summer of 1943 they moved to Scotland to start training in combined operations, ready for the invasion of France.  

On 10th June 1944 (D Day +4) 4th Lincolnshires landed in Normandy on Gold Beach.  On 13th they were sent to the area of Tilly-sur-Seulles-St Pierre and went into action 2 days later.  They’d been issued with bicycles but soon found these impractical due to the ground conditions and enemy opposition.   They broke broke out of the bridgehead on June 24th and after capturing Fontenay-le-Pensil they were in the line continuously for a month during hard defensive fighting in the Tessel-Bretteville area.  At one point the Battalion faced the left of a major German counter attack through the dense woods.  According to reports the attack was broken by L/Sgt Walter Baggley who waited until the last minute then ordered his men to open fire with Bren (machine) guns and Piat (anti tank weapons).  

From July 26th the Battalion took part in heavy fighting during Operation Marlett, as they moved around the south of Caen, through Bourgebus, and Troarn and towards the Seine.  Walter Baggley was killed on 19th Aug 1944 at Douvres.  This is near the invasion beaches north of Caen, so he may have died at a field hospital.  He was buried at La Delivrande War Cemetery and is also commemorated on the Fulbeck War Memorial.

At the end of the war his parents (George and Miriam) are variously described as being of Fulbeck Heath and Bracebridge Heath, but they seem to have still been in Fulbeck in 1948.