Sunday, February 08, 2015

Private Lewis Walder, 11th Loyal North Lancashire Regt

L Walder is almost certainly Lewis Walder born at Hove, Sussex in 1890 and appearing on the 1891 census as living at Coleys, North Common, Chailey with his family.  The family comprised Lewis Walder, a farmer aged 37, his wife Emily, aged 30 and their five sons: Allen Walder (aged eight), Harry Walder (aged seven), Jesse Walder (aged five), George Walder (aged three) and Lewis Walder (aged one). 

Ten years later, the 1901 census shows the family living at Warren Villa, Chailey.  Lewis Walder senior is now noted as a farmer employer.  Allen (18)  is noted as “farmer’s son” while Harry (aged 16) and Jesse (aged 15) are working as domestic gardeners.  Other members of the family are the children’s mother (Emily Walder), George (13) and Lewis (11) plus three more children born since the 1891 census was taken: James Walder (aged ten), William Walder (aged eight) and finally, a daughter: Ada E Walder (aged two).  Ada Emily Walder would die later that year and, much later, her parents would be buried in her grave.  

Chailey Parish Magazine first notes Lewis Walder in June 1916 noting: Walder, Private L, Royal N Lancs, England.  This information is updated the following month to note that he is serving with the 11th Battalion.  L Walder is then mentioned in every subsequent issue up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919.

I have been unable to find any Walder with North Lancs connections on the National Archives’ on-line medal information card index.  Only one Lewis Walder appears and that is A/382156 Private Lewis Walder of The Army Service Corps. 

Chailey resident Reg Philpott remembers that the Walder family used to live at Lane End Farm, Chailey and this is confirmed by Kelly’s 1915 directory for Sussex which notes: “Chailey- Walder Lewis, farmer, Lane End farm”. 

Four men with the surname Walder and with connections to Chailey served their King and Country during the First World War.  J Walder could be Jesse or John Walder and could be Lewis Walder’s brother.  William Walder could also be a brother.  The final Walder, Ebenezer Walder was the only son of Isaac Walder (of Lindfield, Sussex) and Emily Walder. 

Lewis Walder senior, his wife Emily, their infant daughter Ada and her brothers Allen, Jesse, George, James and William are all buried in St Mary’s churchyard, North Chailey.

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