Walter was born on 21st January 1899 in Owlerton, Sheffield, Yorkshire to parents Albert and Annie. He had an older brother, Albert, listed on the 1901 census, and the family resided at 48 Rutland Road, in the parish of Brightside. By the 1911 census the family had moved to 48 Manners Street, Neepsend, Sheffield , Walter attended school, aged 12, while his brother Albert, aged 15 already worked as a horse man. The two boys were the only children to the couple, as they had lost another two children at young ages.
Walter worked as a File Grinder before enlisting in Nottingham on 27th March 1916, aged 17, with the RMLI as a Private, possibly wanting to “do his bit” for the war effort once old enough.
He was 5'5" tall with hazel eyes and brown hair, tattoos and a scar on his right middle finger.
He remained at the recruitment depot at Deal until 22 November 1916, passing his Infantry test on 20th November 1916, then moved to Chatham for further training until 1st May 1917 (failing his Gunnery test on 19th March 1917).
He was posted to HMS VANGUARD along with one other Marine, Henry Metcalf, on 2nd May 1917, being killed just two months later.
His Victory and British war medals were claimed by his father following his death. He is remembered on the Sheffield Council Official Roll of Honour, the Owlerton Church War Memorial and on Chatham Naval War Memorial.
#205 - 373/843
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 Free BMD
1901 & 1911 England Census
UK, Royal Marines Registers of Service Index, 1842-1925 ADM 159/134/20496
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War.; Class: ADM 242; Piece: 008 (1914 - 1919)
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/8; Scan Number: 0819
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers; Reference: 094/0423/HAT-HAW
UK, Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 169