William and Walter were the sons of William and Amy Newman. They were born at Boomi, NSW and their births registered at Moree; William in 1893, Walter in 1897.
William enlisted at Moree in October 1915 when he was twenty two and working as a Stationhand at Boomi. He joined the 33rd Battalion 3rd Reinforcement and left Australia on HMAT A68 Anchises in August 1916. After arriving in England in October he was sent to France the following month. During the Battle of Messines in June 1917 he was gassed, then two months later wounded in a bicycle accident. He was gassed again in April 1918 and invalided to England for treatment. William returned to Australia in January 1919. He died in 1937 and was buried at Stanthorpe, Queensland.
Walter enlisted at Inverell in May 1916 when he was eighteen. He and his Mother were living at Inverell at this time. His Father gave permission for him to serve overseas. Walter joined the 29th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement and left Australia in November 1916. After arriving in England in January 1917 further training took place until he was sent to France in April. Four months later he was transferred to the 33rd Battalion. He was admitted to hospital suffering from trench foot disease and after treatment returned to his unit in November.
Private Walter James Newman was killed in Action on 5 April 1918 at Villers-Bretonneux, France. He was buried at Crucifix Corner Cemetery, Villers-Bretonneux. Inscribed on his headstone is part of a verse submitted by his parents, as follows:-
‘We pray that God has found you rest
With the angels of the blest.’
At Inverell the names of William and Walter are recorded on the Church of England Honor Roll. Walter’s name is inscribed on the Inverell Honor Roll and Cenotaph. In 1919 he was one of the men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade, Inverell.