Distinguished Conduct Medal, VR, Queen’s South Africa, 4 bars, belmont, Modder River, Driefontein, Transvaal, King’s South Africa, 2 bars, SA 1901, SA 1902, 4909 Private (Corpl on KSA) W. Delooze, Grenadier Guards.
Mentioned in Despatches by Lord Roberts on 10th September 1901, with his Distinguished Conduct Medal being announced in the London Gazette on 27th September 1901, it appears to be awarded for his Gallantry in either Belmont or Modder River, he was also promoted to Lance Corporal in March 1900, and served as Corporal for the remainder of the war, which also points to his gallant service in the early battles of the war.
Walter Delooze was born in Winchester Hampshire during 1877, his family moved to Broughton, Salford and at the age of 18 and having worked as a groom he joined the Grenadier Guards at Manchester on 2nd July 1894.
He joined the 3rd Battalion and served in Gibraltar from 23rd September 1899 until 25th October 1899 when the battalion was called to action, landing officially in the Cape on 15th November.
Assembled with the 1st & 2nd Coldstream Guards and 1st Bn Scots Guards they were the 1st Guards Brigade.
A week into the campaign they took part in their first battle, the night attack on Belmont, the Guards attacking ‘Gun Hill’.
Under command of Lord Methuen, they were sent to attack on the night of 22nd November 1899, Colville ordered his men to attack Gun Hill.
He later stated that “They were guided by my Brigade Major, Capt Ruggles-Brise, who led them to the exact spot” he later admitted that he had miscalculated the distance and that the CO, Lt Col Crabbe of the 3rd Bn Gren Gds had attacked the wrong hill, Crabbe was wounded in action and the attack was led by Major Kinloch, the hill was infact the objective of the Coldstream Guards, and it was blamed on faulty maps.
They fought with great bravery and suffered for it, during the attack they lost 2 officers and 23 men KIA, with 7 officers and 97 men wounded, these losses represented half of the total force deployed in the battle.
With only a week of rest they were back in action at Modder River on 28th November 1899.
It was another bloody battle, the Gren Guards had to attack the Boers who were entrenched on either side of the Modder River at the confluence of the Reit and Modder where a railway bridge remained undamaged. The Gren Guards were ordered to a frontal attack, whilst the Scots Guards came in the right flank of the Boers.
It was a familiar situation, being picked off by Boer rifle fire, a Gren Gds officer later wrote “We had no cover except little scrub bushes about 6 inches high, and the ground sloping gently down to the Boers form about 2000 yards. I don’t suppose troops have ever been in a more damnable position. I sat up occasionally to see how things were going, but only a moment, as it was always the signal for a perfect storm of bullets. My ammunition-bearer had his head blown to bits by a 1lb shell from a 37mm maxim, a most damnable gun.
I happened to be in the line of it just before dark, and they pumped 6 rounds at me. the first 4 pitched in a line about 20, 10, 15 and the fourth 4 yards in front of me, and threw dirt all over me, and the next two just pitched behind me. I didn’t like it a bit… it was the worst i have ever spent in my life. Twelve hours under constant and heavy fire of Maxims, 12 pounders, and other quick firing guns and rifles, a hot sun, no cover, no water, and no food is more than enough for yours truly… The guns (Royal Artillery 18th, 75th and 62nd Batteries) yesterday fought magnificently, and I believe fired more rounds per gun than have ever been fired in a battle before… We had a lovely wash this morning. I washed shirt and drawers, besides myself, I wanted it. My clothes have not been off since we left the Orange River on November 21.”
The total casualties to the Gren Gds were 3 officers wounded, 12 men killed and 50 wounded. The whole division suffered 68 men killed, 3 officers killed, 16 Officers and 368 men wounded.
He was shortly after appointed as Lance Corporal on 3rd March 1900, later reverting to Private after peace was announced in May 1902.
He returned home on 22nd July 1902, marrying his wife Elizabeth Sewell in Chertsey in 1904, being discharged having completed his 12 years on 1st July 1906.
He was later a Electric Brougham Driver in 1911 and had two daughters, he didn’t take part in the First World War and died in Greenwich in 1936, at the age of 59.