Walter was born at Inverell, the eldest son of Walter and Margaret Duncan. He attended Inverell Intermediate High School and served 4 years with the local militia.
Walter attempted to enlist in August 1914, however was rejected due to his chest size. He then applied for a Commission and was appointed Lieutenant in March 1916. He left Australia in May with the 33rd Battalion arriving in England two months later. The Battalion went to France in November.
During the Battle of Messines in June 1917, Walter was wounded in the chest and invalided back to England for treatment. He was awarded the Military Cross for ‘gallantry and devotion to duty’ at Messines. He returned to France in October and was gassed in April the following year. During July he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. In 1919 he received the Bar to his DSO for operations near Bouchavesnes and was also mentioned in General Haig’s despatches.
Following the end of the War, Walter was appointed a commission in the Indian Army and proceeded to India where he served until his death there in 1939.
Walter and his brother William both have their names recorded on the Inverell Intermediate High School Honor Roll and the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Honor Roll. Walter’s name is also inscribed on the Inverell Honor Roll.
Image: Courtesy Bank of NSW Honor Roll