Walker, Thomas Edward

Hull Pals Memorial Post. PRIVATE THOMAS EDWARD WALKER 12/1272. Born in 1897 in Barrow-upon-Humber Son of the late Thomas Edward Walker (deceased). Thomas was brought up be Mrs Shepherdson. He was a labourer, living at Thornton Street, Barrow-upon- Humber. His army records describe him, as 5 foot, 6 inches tall, 34.5 inch chest size, 133 lbs weight.  He was one of the Originals queuing outside Hull City Hall to enlist originally in the 12th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment, ‘The Sportsmen’, 3rd Hull Pals. He joined on 24/12/1914, aged 19. His story is the story of the Pals. He trained throughout 1915 and got leave for long enough to marry Maria Parkin back home in Barrow on 31st August, 1915. They moved to the High Street and Market Place, in Barrow. Their time together was short. Thomas shipped for Alexandria, Egypt before Christmas. Garrisoned out in the desert, their job was to defend the Suez Canal from potential attack by the Turks, but they saw no action their greatest enemy boredom, disease, and the burning heat of day in stark contrast to the bitter cold of the desert night. Their war took a turn for the worse when they left Port Said for Marseilles in late February 1916. Arriving March 8th they began the long haul north to the trenches of the Western Front. Thomas had lived through it all- the Somme; Oppy Wood and Arras- and was transferred to the 11th Battalion when the 12th was forced to merge with its sister battalion owing to the horrific losses 1916-17 and a lack of available manpower. Thomas ran out of luck, like so many of his comrades, on 12th April 1918 during the darkest hours of the German Spring Offensive and his body was never recovered. Thomas Edward Walker is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial; he was 21 years old. He left a widow and two children.

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Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut, Belgium