Walter Cumberbirch 1871-1942

Private M2/080616 Royal Army Service Corps

Walter Cumberbirch was born in Q4 of 1871 in Rochdale, Lancashire, England. He was the son of William Cumberbirch and his wife Catherine nee Hancock.
He was a mechanic in a cotton mill by 1891, a machine fitter in a cotton mill by 1901 and a cotton mill engineer by 1911. This was an ideal backgrond for a military career in the Royal Army Service Corps. Walter Cumberbirch married Sarah Taylor in Q4 of 1898 in Rochdale, Lancashire, England. Together they had:

  • Fred Cumberbirch, born 4 May 1899 in Rochdale, Lancashire, England
  • Gladys Cumberbirch, born 11 Jul 1905 in Hull, Yorkshire, England

Walter enlisted in the army for WW1 at Whitehall in London on 18 April 1915. He became Private M2/080616 in the Royal Army Service Corps joining the Motor Transport Division.
At enlistment he was described as:

  • Age: 43 years and 8 days
  • Trade: Motor Fitter
  • Height: 5 feet 6 inches
  • Weight: 145 lbs
  • Chest: 37 inches expanded with 2 inches of expansion
  • Physical development: good
  • Pulse: 68
  • Vaccination marks: 3 infancy
  • Vision: right eye: D/6 left eye: D/6
  • Slight defects: Fit subject to Dental Treatment

Walter joined the Army Service Corps Motor Transport at Grove Park. He arrived in France on 1 Jun 1915. He served for 2 years and 83 days in total and served:

  • In England 18 April 1915 to 31 May 1915
  • In the British Expeditionary Force in France from 1 June 1915 to 23 October 1916
  • In England from 24 October 1916 to 9 July 1917

He contracted dysentery at the Somme whilst on active service in October 1916. His dysentery was a result of an infected water supply. He was transported back to England to recover. He was admitted to the Temple Rd, Military Hospital, Birkenhead att. 1st West Gen. on 23 October 1916 and discharged from hospital on 23 November 1916 having spent 32 days in hospital. He had a recurrennce in December 1916 and was admitted to Queens Road Hospital, Southport for two weeks.

He was examined by a Medical Board at Norwood on 28 May 1917 and his condition was summarised as:

Had attack of Dysentery last October, was sent home to Birkenhead Hospital when he was discharged on furlough at the end of November. He had a relapse in December & was sent to Hospital Queens Rd Southport where he was a fortnight. Had a relapse at Beckenham but was not sent to Hospital, was treated by the M.O. [Medical Officer] last February.
Present condition: He still has recurrent attacks of diarrhoea but no bloody stool since March. He complains of being short of wind & soon fatigued. There is slight D.A.H. He is not fit for the active duties of a Soldier.
Discharge as permanently unfit.
Opinion of the Medical Board

Disability as a result of military service; infected water supply
Minimum duration of disability: 3 months
Extent of disability: 1/4 [25%]
Station: Grove Park

He was invalided, discharged from the army and pensioned on 9 July 1917 at Woolwich Dockyard. On being discharged he was described as:

  • Age: 45 years
  • Height: 5 feet 7 inches
  • Chest: 37 inches expanded with 2 inches of expansion
  • Complexion: Sallow
  • Eyes: Hazel
  • Hair: Grey
  • Trade: Motor Fitter
  • Intended place of residence: 99 Criterion St, Reddish, Stockport

Walter was re-examined in 1920 and described as:

  • Age: 49
  • Man's complaints: Very little to trouble me now, except care in diet.
  • No physical signs in abdomen.
  • No distension, no tenderness.
  • Pulse rate 72
  • General condition good
  • Very little disability

Walter Cumberbirch was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War and Victory medals. For being discharged as medically unfit for duty due to his dysentery he was also awarded the Silver War Badge.
Walter died in Q2 of 1942 in Stockport, Cheshire and his wife Sarah Cumberbirch died in Q4 of 1952 in Stockport, Cheshire, England.

Medal Roll

ROYAL ARMY SERVICE CORPS

3160

ROLL of INDIVIDUALS entitled to the Decoration granted under Army Order 20 of 23rd December 1918 [1914-15 Star].

On date of Disembarkation

Name

Date of Disembarkation

Remarks

Regtl. No.

Rank

M2/080616

Private

CUMBERBIRCH W.

1 Jun 1915 (I) [France]

Discharged Para. 392 (XVI) K.R. 9 Jul 1917

RASC, Woolwich Dockyard, 7 Jan 1920

ROYAL ARMY SERVICE CORPS

5630 B

ROLL of INDIVIDUALS entitled to the Victory Medal and British War Medal granted under Army Orders 301 & 266 of 1919.

Regimental No.

Rank

Name

Unit (in order)

Theatres of war in which served

M2/080616

Private

CUMBERBIRCH Walter

R.A.S.C. M2/080616 Private

Discharged 9 Jul 1917 Para 392 (xvi) K.R.

RASC, Woolwich Dockyard, 28 May 1920 

Silver War Badge

ROLL of INDIVIDUALS entitled to the “WAR BADGE”

GSC 1320

Regtl. No.

Rank

Name

Unit

No. of Badge

Enlistment

Discharge

Cause of Discharge

Whether served Overseas

M2/080616

Private

Cumberbirch Walter

M.T.A.S.C. [Motor Transport Army Service Corps]

215,652

18 Apr 1915

9 Jul 1917

Sickness Para 392 (XVI) K.R.

Yes

Woolwich Dockyard, 14 July 1917

Medal Card

Name.

Corps.

Rank.

Regtl. No.

CUMBERBIRCH

Army Service Corps

Private

M2/080616

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medal.

Roll.

Page.

Remarks.

VICTORY

RASC/101B56

5630

Discharged 392 (XVI) 9 Jul 1917

BRITISH

Ditto

Ditto

15 Star

RASC/4b/7

3160

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silver War Badge List

ASC/4B/7

1320

Theatre of War first served in

 

 

Date of entry therein

 

 

 

 

 

K1380

 

 

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