Corporal Walter Ernest Vaughan


Walter Ernest Vaughan (left) with his brother Frank


Walter Ernest Vaughan was born in 1895 at Eastleigh, Hampshire, the fourth of eight children of wood turner Henry Vaughan and his American-born mother Margaret (née Winter). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 106 Desborough Road, Eastleigh, with his parents and five of his siblings, and working as a milkman.

Vaughan enlisted in the Dragoons of the Line on 6 July 1912 (No.7008). Posted to the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen’s Bays), he embarked for France on 16 August 1914. On 25 November he was evacuated to England, having fallen ill.

He was later posted to the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons, returning to France on 3 August 1916, possibly to join the headquarters establishment of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment following the formation of that regiment in France from C and F Squadrons and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron. The headquarters, formed in England and comprising 40 officers and men, joined the new regiment in France at the beginning of July. (Alternatively he was posted to the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron, which was then serving as A Squadron of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment.)

The 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment served as corps cavalry to X Corps until August-September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Vaughan, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Vaughan was issued regimental number 41177.

On 20 December 1917 he was evacuated to hospital in England, though whether wounded or sick is not presently known.

Vaughan was transferred to the Army Reserve, Section B, on 2 August 1919. He was later issued a new army number – 7042136. He was discharged 5 July 1924 on completion of his twelve years' service.

In late December 1925 he emigrated to Australia, settling in Fremantle. He later worked there as a prison officer. He died in the Fremantle Hospital on 27 March 1977.


At least three of Vaughan's five brothers also served in the war: Frederick Edgar in the Worcestershire Regiment, William Frank in the 2nd Dragoon Guards, and Edwin Henry in the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers. Edwin Henry died of gas poisoning in France on 15 April 1917.


Image sourced from Public Member Trees – contributor Sarah Bingham.