Monday, September 08, 2014

17855 Battery Quartermaster Sergeant William Walder, Royal Garrison Artillery

William Walder was born in 1882 and appears for the first time on the 1891 census.  He is recorded as an eight year old,  living at South Street, Chailey with his parents George Walder, (a 46 year old bricklayer from Fletching), Harriet Walder (nee Heasman, aged 48, born in Chailey) and his brothers and sisters:  George Walder (a 22 year old labourer), Ellen Walder (a twelve year old scholar) and John Walder (aged six). There was also another sister – Anne Walder – born in 1872.

As early as July 1915, Chailey Parish Magazine notes that Wiliam Walder is serving his King and Country and in October 1915 notes that he is a sergeant with the Royal Garrison Artillery.  In February 1917 it notes that he is a brigade [sic] quarter master sergeant and this information is then repeated up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919. 
No service record appears to survive in WO 363 or WO 364 but thankfully we do get a sketch history of his service from his surviving entry in the Royal Artillery's archive. He originally attested in London on the 22nd January 1904 aged 20 years and three months. At the time he was working as a footman and gave his place of birth as Chailey. His next of kin, if that person were a parent, would have been noted in pencil. However, William was married in 1907, to Thomasine Louisa Pascoe in Falmouth and it is her details which have been over-written in the attestation register. The couple would go on to have three children; William (born 1911), Doris May (born 1912) and Ella Joan (born 1919).
William was discharged at Dover on the 21st January 1925 on the termination of his engagement. His address was given as 6 H Battery. I have seen a photograph of William taken in Singapore earlier in his career and wearing a single stripe.
William's medal index card, above, is courtesy of Ancestry.

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