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Walker, Fred

I found Fred Walker when I was researching the other Serviceman buried in St. Mary’s Churchyard –Victor Charles Carter, who died on the 17th May 1944.

As far as I can tell he is not remembered on any WW2 War Memorial and must be remembered for his sacrifice to make sure we are free today.

The Additional information on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Citation for Fred Walker tells us he was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Walker and stepson of Florence Walker, of Saltney.

So I knew that there was probably another marriage.   I believe that Charles Walker had been born on the 7th May 1881 and Baptised on the 2nd June, 1882, the son of Samuel & Hannah WALKER (nee GLEAVE). At St. Paul’s Church, Chester.

We see Charles Walker on the 1901 census living with his family at 33, Ewart Street, Saltney, Flintshire.  Head of the household was Samuel Walker, 56, a Railway Brakeman, born in Delemere, Cheshire.   His wife, Hannah, 53, had been born in Weaverham, Cheshire.   Charles Walker, 19, was a Railway Engine Cleaner, born Chester, as had Ellen, 12, his sister, another sibling was Fred, 9, who had been born in Saltney, Flintshire.    Making up the household was William Cain, 7, born Chester, a Grandson of Samuel & Hannah.

Because of Charles’s occupation, he is either posted or moved to  Rhyl, and there he meets and marries Mary Ellen Wynne on the 26th June 1907.

Charles Walker was 27, a bachelor and Stoker, his abode was 26, Marsh Row, Rhyl, his father,  Samuel Walker was a Railway Guard.    Mary  Ellen Wynne was 27 and a Spinster, living at 20, Gamlin Street, Rhyl, her father Thomas Wynne was a Painter.   They married after banns and their witnesses were John Walker & Elizabeth Wynne Ellis.

Mary Ellen Wynne had been born in Liverpool, circa 1880, the daughter of Thomas & Elizabeth Wynne (nee Roberts), but they are seen on the 1881 census living at 28, Ernest Street, South Terrace, Rhyl, Flintshire in the household of Elizabeth’s mother, Ellen Roberts, 49, a widow and a Char Woman, who had been born in Hawarden, Flintshire.  Also there was William Roberts, Ellen’s son, age 17, single and a Labourer, born in Golftyn, Flints, as had his brother, Ithell, age 12 and a Scholar.   Thomas Wynn(sic), Son-in-Law, age 25, was a Painter and had been born in Rhuddlan, Flints.   Ellen’s daughter, Elizabeth Wynn (sic), 26, had been born in Golftyn, Flints.  Mary Ellen Wynn (sic) was 7 months old.

We see them later on the 1911 census, now living in Huddersfield, having moved once again with the railway company.   They are living at 59, Dewhurst Road, Fartown, Huddersfield, Yorkshire – West Riding, in 3 rooms.   Charles, 30, is now head of the household and a Fireman (Loco Depot. Rly.), born in Chester.    Mary Ellen, 30, had been born in Liverpool, Lancashire and tells us that they had been married for 3 years and 1 child had been born to them, but sadly had died.)   There were 3 boarders’ living there, Thomas Walter Brotherton, 24 and a Fireman (Loco Depot. Rly.), Edward Oakley, 23, and a Fireman (Loco Depot. Rly.), both born in Bushey, Staffs.   I believe that Mary Ellen’s brother, William Allen Wynne, 23, was also one of them, he was a Canvasser  for a Soap Manufacturer and had been born in Queensferry, Flintshire.   They were all single.

William Allen Walker, Mary Ellen’s brother was to marry in Woodhouse Huddersfield:-

On the 28th November 1914, Mary Ellen’s brother William Allen WYNNE married Clarissa TURLEY  at Christ Church, Woodhouse,  Huddersfield.

It was while they were in Huddersfield that Fred Walker was born on the 28th May 1915, his entry in the Registers was confusing, as the mother’s maiden name was written as “Winne,” rather than “Wynne”, and so caused me to get in touch with the Huddersfield Registrars to confirm that I had the right birth, she very kindly told me he was the son of Charles & Mary Ellen Walker (nee Wynne), (Huddersfield Vol. 9a Page 542).

Sadly, Mary Ellen was to die, age 37 years, in the September quarter of 1917 in the Hawarden Registration District, so they had moved from Huddersfield. (Hawarden Vol.11b Page 260), I could not find her burial.

Charles  Walker, who had already suffered the death of their first child, now had to deal with his wife’s death, so Fred, age 2, and his father , were on their own, but by the March quarter of 1919, Charles had met and married Florence Dye in St. Peter’s Church, Chester. (Cheshire West CE64/3/62).

Another son was born to Charles through Florence, on the 10th June 1920, Thomas Clive Walker (Hawarden Vol.                11b Page 392).

Again, sadly, I find Charles in Chester Royal Infirmary on the 19th June 1921 when the census was taken, he is a patient and this source tells us that he was 40 years and 1 month old, he was an Engine Driver for the L.N.W.R (London & North Western Railway), and he had 3 dependents.   3 days later on the 22nd June 1921, he died.(Chester Vol. 8a Page 417).

So Florence was left after a few short years of marriage with the two children.   I do not have any information on Fred’s early and teenage years, so any information would be gratefully received.

Fred Walker was born on the 28th May 1915, according to the 1939 National Register, which was taken on the 29th September 1939.   He was living with his step-mother, Florence Walker, at 1, Stone Bridge Villa, High Street, Saltney, Chester, (which came under the Hawarden R.D.,) Flintshire.

This source gives us the dates of birth and occupations, Florence Walker being born on the 19th November 1885,was widowed and as most married or widowed women who did not have a job, was described as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”   Fred Walker’s birth date was as I have stated above, this tells us he was a Gentleman’s Hairdresser and single.   His half brother, Thomas C. Walker, had been born on the 10th June 1920, was single and a Butcher Slaughterman.

Fred , according to the Chester Chronicle dated the 16th November 1940, had joined the R.A.F. six months before his death.   He was posted into the 907 Squadron, I have listed some websites below:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Balloon_Command

RAF Balloon Command – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Balloon Command

Balloon Command was the Royal Air Force command which was responsible for controlling all the United Kingdom-based barrage balloon units during the Second World War.

History

Prior to the establishment of Balloon Command, a balloon group was brought into being in 1937. This smaller formation was known as No. 30 (Balloon Barrage) Group and was commanded by Air Commodore John Hearson.[2] Balloon Command itself was formed on 1 November 1938 at RAF Stanmore Park in Middlesex.[3] It consisted of a headquarters and several groups. Balloon Command was disbanded in February 1945.[3]

So Fred found himself, along with 17 other members of the 907 Balloon Squadron living at their billet at 26 Highbury Grove, Aberdeen Lane, the following tells you what happened on the 12th November 1940:-

https://bookofremembrance.islington.gov.uk/BookOfRemembrance/EventFolder.aspx?id=8345

Details for: Air raids on Tuesday 12th November 1940

Historical Data:

Tuesday 12th November 1940. Enemy raids were on a reduced scale during the day but, from 2300 hours, these intensified – London being the main target once again. Sloane Square underground station booking office and a train was hit with the loss of 21 lives. A total of 111 Londoners were killed this day, 13 were killed elsewhere. A number of properties were damaged in Islington. Elfort Road, Highbury Hill, Hornsey Rise Gardens, Petherton Road, St. Paul’s Road and Aberdeen Lane were hit with the loss of 25 lives. This total included 18 men of the 907 Balloon Squadron who were killed in their billet at 26 Highbury Grove, Aberdeen Lane.

https://bookofremembrance.islington.gov.uk/BookOfRemembrance/DeceasedFolder.aspx?id=49905This states that his relative was his father, but he had died in 1921 and also a friend was mentioned : –  N A F Young, Friend, 54, Mountview Court, N8.

I downloaded from the National Archives, the 907 Squadron Operations Record Book and transcribed the event:-

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK FOR 907 SQUADRON (I can send a copy if you contact the website)

Page 71 of 907 Squadron tells of the men who were killed on the 12th November 1940:-

At 22.20 hours. High explosive bomb struck and completely demolished “A” Flight Headquarters at 26, Highbury Grove.   F/O M.E.ARNOLD, P/O A,W,GRANT AND P/O J.W.BARTHOLOMEW and the following men were killed.

L.A.C. SANDS. J.R 844529.   A.C.2. BERNSTEIN. M. 1056202.   A.C. I. REEVES.F. 844716. A.C.E. DAVIDSON.T. 1056167.  A.C.2. COTTER.P.B. 1056210.   A.C.2. BROADHURST. F. 1154792. L.A.C. NICHOLSON. 844631.  A.C. BELL.J.J. 629670.   A.C.2. WALKER.F. 1006838.  A.C.1. HYNER.A.H. 297123.   A.C.1. BESSANT.W.E. 844153.   CPL. BRUTON. R. 355278. A.C.2. CHOPE. A.V. 845095.   A.C.1. GREW.L. 844945.   F/SGT. TOWNSEND.C.S. 844509.   3 Airmen were also injured.   A temporary Head Quarters were established at site 7/S until the new H.Q. was occupied.

Fred’s step-mother Florence, died in 1958, age 72 years, and she was buried on the 21st May, 1958, with Charles and Fred in St. Mary’s Churchyard, Broughton.

Fred must be remembered, as he gave his life for us all and he deserves to have his name on a local WW2 War Memorial to be remembered for perpetuity.

 

“MASTER, SPEAK! THY SERVANT HEARETH”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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