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  • Photograph courtesy of Brian Szowkomud
Person Details
Radcliffe on Trent Nottinghamshire
Walter was the son of William and Harriet Dyson (née Snodin). Both his parents were born in Radcliffe on Trent, his father's birth was registered in 1850 (J/F/M Bingham) and his mother was born in 1851 (A/M/J Bingham. They were married at Radcliffe on Trent St Mary on 24 August 1874 and had at least ten children one of whom died in infancy. All the children were baptised at St Mary's: Emily b. 1875 bap. 16 May 1875; James b. 1876 bap. 7 April 1876; Walter birth registered 1878 (J/F/M Bingham) bap. 7 April 1878; Lois Ellen (Ellen) b. 1879 bap. 1 July 1879; Sybil b. 7 March 1883 bap. 6 May 1883; Hester Marie b. 1884 bap. 5 October 1884 d. 1885 (A/M/J Bingham); Hester Ann b. 14 June 1887 bap. 24 July 1887; Catherine/Katherine Mary birth registered 1889 (J/F/M Bingham) bap. 6 March 1889; Charles William b,. 8 July 1890 bap. 31 August 1890 and Dorothy b. 1893 bap. 11 May 1893. In 1881 William, a carpenter and joiner, Harriet and three of their four children - Emily, James and Ellen - were living on Bailey Lane, Radcliffe on Trent. Their second son Walter (3) was recorded on the census in Beeston in the household of his maternal aunt Emily Wildman and her husband Henry (Emily Snodin b. 1856 m. 1879). The family had moved to Shelford Road by the time of the 1891 Census. Seven of their eight surviving children were still living at home: James (14), Walter (13), Ellen (12), Sybil (8), Hester Ann (3), Catherine (2) and Charles (1). Their eldest child Emily (15) was living in Soulby, Dacre, Cumberland with her widowed uncle William Bostock (m. Annie Snodin 1863), a gardener, and his daughter Mary; no occupation was given for either Emily or her cousin. Wllliam and Harriet's youngest child, Dorothy, was born two years later. Harriet Dyson died in 1900 (A/M/J Bingham) and in 1901 the widowed William was living at Ash Cottage, Main Road, Radcliffe on Trent, with five of his six daughters; Emily, Ellen whose occupation was given as domestic houskeeper (probably for her family), Hester, Catherine and Dorothy (8). Sybil, a general domestic servant, was living in Radcliffe on Trent in the household of George Bates, a retired lace manufacturer, and his wife Emily. James was serving in the Sherwood Foresters in South Africa while Walter was a school master and living at Eton Manor, Birmingham. Walter had returned to Nottinghamshire by 1911 when he was living at 21 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham, in the home of Mary Wallace, a boarding house keeper. Walter married Edith Lilian (Lillie) Clarkson on 9 October 1918 at Nottingham Register Office. Edith (b. 6 July 1882) was also school teacher and in 1911 had been living on North Road, West Bridgford, with her parents John and Helen Clarkson. Walter returned to his unit nine days after their marriage and was killed less than three weeks later on 4 November. He and Edith lived at 168 Noel Street, Nottingham, and this is also the address given on the later CWGC record. Edith never remarried. In 1939 she was living at 41 Edwards Lane, Nottingham, and was still working as a school mistress. She died on 12 July 1965; the probate record gave her address as 39 Tavistock Drive, Nottingham. Walter's father William had remarried in 1910 and in 1911 was living with his wife Lizzie (39 b. Saltby Leics) in Radcliffe on Trent. None of his children were in the household on the night of the census. William died on 6 April 1929; his widow Elizabeth and his son Walter's widow Edith were awarded probate jointly. Of Walter's seven surviving siblings: Emily was probably an inmate of Bingham Workhouse in 1911; her occupation was given as housemaid. She died in 1935 (J/A/S Bingham). James served in the Territorial Force (4th Bn Sherwood Foresters) but transferered to the Sherwood Foresters (7429 Private) on 21 January 1900 and then served in South Africa from 23 February 1900 to 28 April 1901. He was discharged from the army on his return home on 29 April 1901 after serving 1 year 85 days. James married Sarah Ann Copley in 1902 (J/F/M Bingham). In 1911 they and their three children, Ronald, Walter and Sybil, were living on Cropwell Road, Radcliffe on Trent; James was an attendant at Notts County Lunatic Asylum, Saxondale. James probably emigrated to Canada in 1912, with his wife and three children sailing from Lverpool to St John New Brunswick on 28 March 1913 to join him. He was recorded on the 1921 Census of Canada (not sighted) and there is the record of the death of a James Dyson on 4 April 1933 who was buried in Cimetiere Mont-Royal Outremont, Montreal Region Quebec (See also Lois Ellen, Catherine and Dorothy) Lois Ellen was probably recorded on the 1911 Census of Canada (not sighted) as Lois E Moore. She died on 7 March 1956 and buried in Cimetiere Mont-Royal, Outremont, Montreal Region, Quebec. Sybil was working as a domestic servant at Alderley Edge, Macclesfield, in the household of Watler Allen a merchant tobacconist and his wife Helen in 1911. She married Frank Wood in 1922 (J/A/S Macclesfield) and in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled they were living in Alderwasley; Frank (b. 28 December 1881) was a retired electrical contractor. Hester Ann was a children's attendant at a Poor Law Guardian institution on Hartley Road, Nottingham, in 1911. In 1939 she was living on Douglas Road, Nottingham; her occupation was given as unpaid domestic duties. Also in the household were William Rowland Dyson (b. 18 August 1913, d. 1992) single and a tobacco worker, and Harold Gilroy Dyson (b. 14 November 1914, O/N/D Nottingham/Dyson, d. 1986) single and a gas maintenance fitter. Hester died in 1979 (A/M/J Nottingham). Catherine Mary (Dyson) was probably listed on the 1911 Census of Canada (not sighted) and on a later Voters' List as Mrs Kathryn Mary Conners (m. Horace Kelvin Conners, 1921 Montreal). She died on 30 May 1977 and buried in Cimetiere Mont-Royal, Montreal Region, Outremont, Quebec. Charles William was living on Green Hill Street, Stratford on Avon, in 1911, a boarder in the household of Mary Ann Rawlings; he was employed as a sorting clerk and telegraphist. He probably served in the Royal Engineers (86973 Sergeant) in the war and was discharged on 15 March 1919. He married Elsie M Freeman (b. 30 August 1891) in 1917 (J/F/M Stratford. They were living in Stratford on Avon in 1939 with their children Walter (b. 21 April 1920) and Mary Snodin (b. 21 September 1925). Both Charles and his son were employed as Post Office clerks. Charles died on 21 June 1965; the probate record gave his address as Stratford on Avon. Dorothy may have been recorded on the 1911 Census of Canada but there is also an Outward Passenger List recording a Dorothy Dyson (23), occupation nurse, on a ship departing Liverpool 7 July 1916 for Quebec. She may be recorded on the 1921 Census of Canada as Dorothy Mitchell and there is a record of the death of a woman of that name in British Columbia (record not sighted).
He was a teacher at The Ropewalk School in Nottingham.
04 Nov 1918
582059 - CWGC Website
2 Argyle Crescent, Shakespeare Street, Nottingham
9th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
From the surviving fragment of Dyson’s Army Service Record (ASR) it seems he was likeable and charismatic but resistant to the more rigid strictures of military discipline. It is probable that Dyson’s personality, age and experience of managing young people along with apparent aptitude and enthusiasm for soldiering secured an impressive succession of rapid promotions; within two weeks of volunteering, he had been awarded a lance corporal’s stripe and rose to corporal four weeks later. By mid August, Dyson was a sergeant, acting RSM by Christmas before reverting to sergeant in January 1916. However, in the field, Dyson’s early military potential soon seemed to evaporate; he was twice severely reprimanded - on March 31st for ‘while on guard being undressed’ and on August 7th for ‘while on active service neglect of duty’- before being ‘reduced to the ranks for inefficiency’ on September 5th. He served initially with 17th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (The Welbeck Rangers) training with them at Witley Camp in Surrey. Dyson’s ASR indicates that he deployed overseas on 6/3/1916 when the battalion embarked for France (landing at Le Havre). The unit served in the Somme sector before and during the 1916 campaign. Although not used on July 1st they were involved in bitterly contested engagements at Festubert, Gorre, Farme du Roi, Richebourg St Vast, Givenchy and other locations and briefly occupied the old German stronghold of Thiepval in late October. The battalion moved to Belgium in January 1917 and during the opening phase of Third Ypres had two officers and sixty three o/rs killed with five officers and three hundred and six o/rs wounded (War Diary 17th Bn Sherwood Foresters). Subsequently 17th Sherwood Foresters fought at Pilkem Ridge, Langemarck, the Menin Road Bridge, Polygon Wood and at the second battle of Passchendaele. Remarkably perhaps it seems that Dyson survived these brutal encounters in different parts of France and Flanders which cost the lives of so many. In February 1918, the 17th battalion was disbanded in France and Dyson was probably one of a number of men who were moved to the 9th Battalion at this time. In 1918, 9th Sherwood Foresters were involved in the British Army’s fighting retreat following the German breakthrough of March 21st and, during the counter attack, fought at the Battle of the Scarpe in late August, at the Canal du Nord between September 27th and October 1st and at 2nd Cambrai between 8th and 9th October. Dyson was not present during this action; on October 9th, he married Edith Lillian Clarkson at Nottingham Registry Office, returning to his unit nine days later. On November 1st, the battalion left Saulzoir at 1400 arriving an hour later at Verchain which was shelled during the afternoon and several NCOs wounded. At first light, the unit moved under persistent and heavy shell fire to Pressau via Querenaing, ‘‘A’ Company relieving the Rifle Brigade and ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D Coys. the King’s Own.” November 3rd, with officer patrols reporting the enemy regrouping, saw ‘C’ and ‘D’ Companies ordered into Curgies where a party from ‘D’ neutralised a machine gun emplacement at the south end of the village. Having advanced 3,000 - 4,000 yards that day the battalion dug in for the night during which 33rd Infantry Brigade issued Order No. 392: ‘Tomorrow November 4th at 0530hrs 9th Sherwood Foresters will attack and capture the line of the River Aunelle. Patrols will be pushed forward to Thiez and Sebourg”. At 0530, without artillery support, 9th Sherwood Foresters carried out this command in pursuit of the enemy as the war’s final week began. Dyson fell on November 4th probably as a member of either ‘C’ or ‘D’ Company both of which were mauled by machine gun fire in attempting to secure high ground east of Sebourg. He may have been killed during a determined afternoon German counter attack finally repelled by two 4.5” howitzers attached to the brigade engaging the enemy with open sights. Dyson was one of only 22,189 British servicemen in the 40-44 age range to lose their lives during the conflict (3.07% of the total). Edith (née Clarkson) Dyson was teaching in Nottingham at Scotholme Boys’ School the head teacher of which noted on November 21st ‘Mrs Dyson absent. Her husband has unfortunately been killed. She, of course has our deepest sympathies.’ That nearly three weeks had passed since Dyson’s death, suggests he may initially have been listed as missing. As others celebrated the Armistice and prepared for the first peace time Christmas, Edith Dyson was left to mourn her husband of twenty six days. She returned to work early in January 1919 and, on May 26th, was granted a widow’s pension of 13/9d (68p) per week. Walter is buried in Sebourg British Cemetery Research David Nunn
CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'I pray thee then write me as one who loved his fellow men' From 'Abou Ben Adhem' by Leigh Hunt Nottingham Evening Post,’Roll of Honour’, 26 November 1918: ‘Dyson Killed in action November 4th (official), after two years and eight months service in France, Walter, the dearly loved husband of Lillie Dyson, 168, Noel-street, Nottingham, and son of William Dyson, Radcliffe on Trent.’ Radford All Saints Church News, May 1919: 'Walter Dyson, 2 Argyle Terrace, Lance Corporal Notts and Derbys, killed in action November 4th 1918, aged 41 (sic).' Probate: Dyson Walter of 108 Noel-street Nottingham private in HM Army died 4 November 1918 in France on active service Probate Nottingham 18 December to Edith Lilian Dyson widow. Effects £351 9s. 7d. Probate: Dyson William of Radcliffe on Trent Nottinghamshire died 6 April 1929 Probate Nottingham 17 May to Elizabeth Dyson and Edith Lilian Dyson [widow Walter Dyson] widows. Effects £237 2s
Remembered on


  • Photograph courtesy of Brian Szowkomud
    Walter Dyson - Photograph courtesy of Brian Szowkomud
  • CWGC headstone marking Walter Dyson's grave, Sebourg British Cemetery. Photograph John Morse
    Walter Dyson - CWGC headstone marking Walter Dyson's grave, Sebourg British Cemetery. Photograph John Morse