Clifford E Wallis WW1

42625 Private Clifford Edward Wallis of the 2nd Battalion, the Devonshire Regiment was the eldest son of Clifford B. and Eleanor Ann Wallis (née Swain), of School House, Bishopsteignton. Born in Bishopsteignton on 16th Jan 1896 he died 25th April 1918 aged 22 years.

Early Life

42625 Private Clifford Edward Wallis of the 2nd Battalion, the Devonshire Regiment was the eldest son of Clifford B. and Eleanor Ann Wallis (née Swain), of School House, Bishopsteignton. He was born in Bishopsteignton on 16th Jan 1896.

According to the 1911 census, when Clifford was 15 years old, he was living with his family in the School House, Bishopsteignton. His father Clifford Blinman Wallis (born in Weymouth, Dorset) was the head teacher and had been married 19 years to his wife Eleanor Anne (born in London).

Clifford Edward had 7 siblings, Fannie Mildred, Nellie Christine, Gladys Lilian, Francis Noel, Elsa Mary, Kenneth Arthur and Monica Joan.

Drawing by CE Wallis
Drawing by C E Wallis Source Western Times 8th Oct 1909

Clifford Edward was a keen artist and a musician as there is evidence that he played the organ at weddings in St John’s church. According to the local papers he was also a draughtsman and worked for Messrs Willey & Co in Exeter.

Military Life

C.E. Wallis enlisted on the 14th October  1916 after several previous attempts to join. He, like so many others from the village, joined the 2nd Battalion Devonshire Regiment as a private and served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from 19th Jan 1917. He was then attached to Headquarters staff as Battalion observer.

Death and Burial

On the night of the 24/25th April 1918  Private Wallis was killed by a bullet to the head and was buried where he fell.  He was 22 years old. He was initially buried with six Australians but the front moved to and fro over the site and the grave was lost.

Obituary Clifford E Wallis
Obituary Clifford E Wallis Source Western Times 4th May 1918

A book of all his letters home, from the day he enlisted to just before he died,  is still in the possession of the family. There is also a letter written by a comrade who was with him when he died.

He has no known grave but his name is listed on the Pozieres Memorial in France Panel 24 and 25. [1]

Descendants

The Wallis family were prominent members of the community of Bishopsteignton. If you have any more archive material and photographs or are related to them please get in touch.

References and credits

This article was written and researched by Ken Irvin and Jessica Gibby

1. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/850617/wallis,-clifford-edward/

 

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