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Person Details
12 Oct 1897
Son of Kate Isabella Wright of 2 Mashams Yard, Isabella Street, Nottingham. (CWGC)
He belonged to 12th Nottingham (Mansfield Road Baptist Church) Boys Brigade, Walter gave his occupation as traveller's carter when he joined the Royal Navy in 1915.
20 Jan 1918
3040486 - CWGC Website
Able Seaman
Royal Navy
Last ship: (Europa I) HMS Louvain formerly SS Dresden. HMS Europa - Depôt and Flagship, Mudros Harbour (July 1915-1919). Walter joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class on 5 March 1915 and enlisted on a 12 year engagement on 12 October 1915, his 18th birthday. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Vivid I, 5 March 15-17 June 1915 (Boy 1st Class 9 June 1915); HMS Albion, b. 18 June 1915-13 January 1916 (Ordinary Seaman 12 October 1915); HMS Lord Nelson, 14 January 1916-19 September 1917 (Able Seaman 1 June 1916); Victory I, 20 September 1917-21 October 1917; HMS Excellent, 23 October 1917-31 December 1917; Europa I, 1 January 1918-20 January 1918. His record was annotated, ‘NP 848/18. DD [Discharged Dead] 20 January 1918 when HMS Louvain was sunk.’ SS Dresden was owned by the Great Western Railway Company and operated as a ferry between England and Belgium. The ship was requisitioned by the Admiralty in 1915, converted to an armed steamer and used as troop transport. She was renamed HMS Louvain. HMS Louvain made regular passages from Malta to Mudros on the Greek island of Lemnos in the north Aegean Sea. She was escorted from Malta to the Corinth Canal through which she passed independently, and was then met by another escort at the eastern end of the canal. On 20 January 1918 HMS Louvain (Lieutenant Commander MO Easton RNR) was escorted from the canal by MTB HMS Colne. HMS Louvain was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine UC-22 (Kapitanleutnant Carl Bunte, captain 1 January 1918-16 May 1918) in the Kelos Strait with the loss of over 200 of her ship's company including the captain. HMS Colne also came under attack but was able to assist with the rescue of casualties. The losses included at least 70 Maltese ratings who were either part of the ship's company or were to be drafted to other RN ships. There were fewer than 20 survivors. Walter's body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
The Times:Malta, 4 February 1918. ‘Naval Vessel Sunk. Louvain Torpedoed in Mediterranean. Loss of 224 Lives. The Secretary of the Admiralty makes the following announcement … A Reuter telegram from Malta, dated January 26, says: ‘So far as is known 70 Maltese are missing as the result of the loss of the Louvain. These included practically all naval ratings from assistant engineers to ordinary seamen, of whom 24 formed part of the crew, while the remainder were intended for disposal among ships of the Fleet. Since the Battle of Jutland this is the heaviest loss Malta has sustained at any one time during the war.’
Remembered on