Sunday, 26 April 2015

Metcalfe, Walter - Private

"No soldier photo available"
No. 6 Commando,
Died 6 January 1943
Age 25

On 8 November 1942 British and American troops made a series of landings in Algeria and Morocco. This was known as 'Operation Torch'. Their advance through northern Tunisia was checked by German troops early in December. On 22 December the Allies began an attack north of Medjez-el-Bab, a small town on the main road from the southwest direct to Tunis. Heavy rain and the resulting quagmires did much to hinder the attack. The attempt to capture Tunis was temporarily abandoned. During January 1943 some minor attacks were made by both sides, but Tunis was not captured until 7 May. Private Walter Metcalfe died of wounds during this period of stalemate.

Walter was the fourth son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Metcalfe. He was married to Winnie, and their home was in Bacup. Walter was aged 25. Before he joined the Army in October 1940 he was a shop assistant in Bacup.

Walter's name is on the Medjez-el-Bab Memorial, Tunisia.The town is 60 kilometres southwest of Tunis. The Memorial stands within Medjez-el-Bab War Cemetery, where 2,903 Commonwealth servicemen are buried. The Memorial commemorates almost 2,000 men who died in Algeria and Tunisia between 8 November 1942 anc 13 May 1943 and have no known grave. Walter is named on Face 25.