Blue plaque unveiled in Worthing for heroic teenage soldier

The mayor of Worthing, Hazel Thorpe, unveils the blue plaque to Walter Harrold
The mayor of Worthing, Hazel Thorpe, unveils the blue plaque to Walter Harrold

A blue plaque has been unveiled in memory of an heroic Worthing teenager who gave his life in the First World War.

Mayor of Worthing Hazel Thorpe revealed the plaque for Walter Harrold outside his former family home in 12 Montague Place, Worthing.

The mayor of Worthing, Hazel Thorpe, unveils the blue plaque to Walter Harrold

The mayor of Worthing, Hazel Thorpe, unveils the blue plaque to Walter Harrold

It was organised by the Worthing Society. Chairman Susan Belton said: “It was a very poignant occasion appreciated by all who attended.”

Sergeant Harrold, a member of the 13th battalion of The Royal Sussex Regiment, was 18 when he was killed in Richebourg, northern France, on September 16, 1916.

After enlisting at Worthing, Walter and his battalion landed at Le Havre on March 6, 1916. He fought at the Battle of the Boar’s Head at Richebourg, one of the most bloody and costly battles for the regiment.

Having survived this onslaught, Walter was soon in action again, this time winning the Military Medal.

The citation read: “While our troops were leaving the parapet, Sergeant Harrold was buried by the parapet being blown down by a shell.

“He was extracted and although shaken he rallied the nearest men, took them over the parapet and led them into the German trench.”

On the morning of September 3, 1916, the 13th Battalion again attacked the German trenches. At 5.10am they launched the attack over open country and uphill, but Walter was among those who died. With no known grave, he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial in France, the Heene and St Mary of the Angels Roman Catholic Church memorials in Worthing, and now the blue plaque.

Also present was Major Jonny Laws from the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment, which the Royal Sussex Regiment is now a part of, who gave an address and laid a poppy wreath.