This is the third person's medal that has been referred to me recently but the circumstance are such that I can't give to many details. However, this particular soldier deserves to have his story told, even if it is only briefly.
2926 PTE Richard Ernest Wallis was not quite 21 years old when he enlisted on 28 June 1915. He was initially posted to 57th Battalion but later transferred to 59th Battalion. Although his service record is 27 pages there is little information apart from the bare facts. There are the standard entries about hospitalisation and battalion transfers until the entry of 28 July 1916 which just says 'Missing'. The next entry on 28 August 1916 simply expands this to declare that, following a court of inquiry, Richard was killed in action on 19 July 1916.
The 59th Battalion War Diary entry of 19 July reads:
'59th Battalion attacked enemy position in four waves. First wave going over parapet at 6.45pm. Other three waves following at five minute intervals. Attack did not penetrate enemy trenches being held up by intense rifle and machine gun fire approximately 100 yards from enemy front line'.
It must have been during this action that Richard was killed and his body not recovered.
Through some research being done by the Fromelles Association I have been put in contact with Richard's great niece and his 1914/15 Star will be returned shortly.
the returned medal tally is now 2161.