GENT, Walter Sgt.

Walter Gent (number believed to be 16010) enlisted in the Pals at Chorley on the 24th September 1914 at the age of 41 years and 9 months and living at 30 Harrison Road in the town.

He had previously served in the Army with the Devonshire Regiment for 5 years, seeing action in South Africa during the Boer War. He was promoted to Sergeant in the Pals on the 9th October 1914 and his appointment was confirmed on the 19th January 1915. He would have been heavily involved in the training of the Chorley Company, going to Caernarvon, Ripon, Cannock Chase and Salisbury Plain. It was at the latter where he was transferred to the 12th (Reserve) Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment on the 18th December 1915 – the Chorley Pals being posted abroad soon after.

Sadly his Service Record in the National Archives is damaged and his service number, crucially, is missing. However, the record shows that he served with two other units in 1916 before being transferred to the Labour Corps on the 28th April 1917. He would appear not to be on any Medal Rolls, indicating that all of his Army service during the First World War was in the U.K.

William Gent left the Army on the 10th February 1919, returning to his home at 19 Charnock Street, Chorley. He had married Ellen Nelson in Chorley on the 24th September 1902 and they had two children – Norman (born 1912) and Doris (born 1914).

He died in Chorley in 1945, aged 72.