Serjeant Walter HALLETT born 1886 killed 14 Sep 1914

Feniton WW1    Walter HALLETT

Walter  was born 29 Nov 1886, in the parish of Gittisham son of John James Hallett and his wife Elizabeth nee Newbury. Sometime between 1886 and 1891 the family left Gittisham, moving to Newton St Cyres where we found them on the 1891 census.

In the 1901 census they were living at Salmon Hutch Crediton. Walter was employed as a Gardener aged 14, his father was a Foreman Platelayer on the Railway.

The 1911 census finds him visiting with the  Steer family of 3 West View Fraddon Crediton. By now he is working on the railway as a Porter.

According to his Service Record he was 6 ft 1 in tall. He was employed on the railway from 27 February 1911 at Sampford Courtenay as a porter on 15/- per week.

It does not state this on his record but according to the Honiton Deanery Magazine he was in Feniton when he was called up. The record states he was called up on 4 August 1914 to the Army Reserve   to the Coldstream Guards

Sadly he was killed in action on 14 September 1914, aged 27 and single.
 He is commemorated on the Crediton War Memorial and the Common Wealth Graves Commission memorial at La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre. The date of death puts him in the action in the First Battle of the Aisne.

La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre


Feniton History Group 52nd Meeting

Another very interesting evening. I want to thank Chris from Ottery Heritage for joining us, his local knowledge is much appreciated.

The main topic being our joint effort with Ottery to place a stone to mark the historic boundary between the two parishes.

Looking at the drawings from Chris Wakefield and the quotes David kindly gleaned for us, the general consensus is to chose the triangle design. It would cost in the region of £170. Feniton Parish Council are keen and have asked to be kept informed of developments. I will do some more work on this in the coming weeks.

For  part of the fund raising needed for the stone,  Chris has kindly offered to do a talk in the Church for our April 2015 meeting, this then leads up nicely to unveiling the stone as part of our Rogation Walk, on Sunday 10th May 2015. Sadly we don't have any choir boys to "Beat the Bounds" with!! 

Roger has been sending on lovely snippets from the old newspapers, we have decided that the  Court social articles found  in the Times, would have been the  Twitter and Facebook of the day.

Next year will see the 160th anniversary of Bishop Patteson leaving Feniton Court on his  journey to Melanesia.  The writer ,Charlotte Yonge has put this in her book  titled" Life of John Coleridge Patteson"

He chose to walk to the coach that would take him to join the railway at Cullompton. The last kisses were exchanged at the door, and the sisters watched him out of sight.

I write one line to-night to tell you that I am, thank God, calm and even cheerful. I stayed a few minutes in the churchyard after I left you, picked a few primrose buds from dear mamma's grave, and then walked on.

The above has sparked a debate, as to how and where he would have picked up the coach? Was it a family carriage, or the stage coach, what route would it have taken. Perhaps at Fairmile to Cullompton via Clyst Hydon. Perhaps we will never know. It was suggested we look at the Turnpike records of the time, 1855 to see were the main roads went. Did he have luggage? There is a road marked on some maps called "Sidmouth Road" this was a road improved for travellers to from the railway at Culllompton to Sidmouth in the days before Sidmouth Junction Station at Feniton. It was deemed too expensive to do the whole route due to the Goyle at Tipton St John.

An article in the Exeter Flying Post suggests there was once a footbridge over the Otter at Fenny Bridges, dated October 16, 1856, again the Turnpike Records would be useful to find. In the article it states the County was found to be responsible for its repair.

The Group are looking to publish a book and a good discussion followed on how we might achieve this. Brenda brought along a selection of local books to show what form it could take. We also need to look at the software needed for the publisher, and pictures would be needed. This will be our topic for the next meeting on Thurs 2nd Oct in the Nog Inn.

I have asked Graeme if he can come to our November meeting, and he is very happy to come, just waiting for him to confirm the date. He tells me this: "I have some interesting news for you and the history group. A novel due to be published at the end of the year includes the main character visiting Sidmouth junction, The Railway Hotel, Escot Church and the Escot estate together with a visit to a fictitious farm called Fenwater Farm. " Intriguing. "You are the first person in Feniton to be told about this and feel free to share the news if you wish."