British War Medal
Walter was born between July and September 1887 in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire. His father was called Thomas and his mother was Drucilla. He had 3 older siblings: Thomas, Alice and Annie. His younger sister Lucy died between April and June 1901, aged 1.
Thomas was a card-room hand in a cotton mill, and in 1891 the family lived at Schofield's Yard in nearby Dukinfield. By 1901 they had moved back to Ashton and lived at 4 Conduit Street. Walter had begun to work as a chip hawker.
Between July and September 1908 Walter married Lilian in Ashton. We don't know her maiden name. They made their home together at 91 Alexandra Street in the town. They had at least 2 children: Ernest Leslie between January and March 1909 and Thomas Wilfred between October and December 1910. Walter worked as a spinner in a cotton mill.
The First World War broke out in August 1914 and Walter joined his local unit on the 28th September. This was the 9th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. We don't know his service number. The original 9th Battalion had gone overseas shortly before Walter enlisted so he was assigned to a second 9th Battalion (2/9th) that was being formed.
Walter stayed in Britain until at least March 1917. In this month members of Territorial Force units were given new service numbers. The 9th Battalion was assigned the range 350001 to 375000. Walter's new number was 350758.
Both the 1/9th and 2/9th Battalion's were serving in France by the end of March. We don't know which one Walter joined, or anything about what he did once he had joined it. At some point during his service in France Walter was either wounded or fell sick. He did not recover enough to continue serving in the Army, so he was discharged on the 29th November 1918 as 'no longer physically fit for war service'.
Walter was awarded a Silver War Badge with serial number B.54104 to show that he had been honourably discharged.
The rest of Walter's life is a mystery. He died between January and March 1953 in Ashton. He was 65 years old. Lilian died between October and December 1970 in Blackpool.
As well as his British War Medal, Walter was also awarded the Allied Victory Medal for his Army service.