[Skip to content]

  • Family headstone, Cropwell Butler cemetery, Nottinghamshire.  Photograph Rachel Farrand (August 2012)
Person Details
Tithby Nottinghamshire
Charles Harold was the son of Francis Walker and his wife Mary (née Newton). His father was born in East Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, in about 1841 and his mother Mary Newton in Cropwell Butler in 1849. They were married at Tithby Holy Trinity and had four children who were all born in Tithby and baptised at Holy Trinity: John Newton b. 1881, Edith Mary b. 1883, Charles Harold b. 1885 bap. 9 October 1885 and Hilda Hannah b. 1887. Francis was a farmer who was also a drill maker. He and his wife were living in Tithby in 1881, the year after their marriage, and were recorded in the village on the census 1891-1911. In 1901 only three of their four children were in the home on the night of the census, Edith, John who was working on the farm and Charles who was still at school. The younger sister, Edith, was one of ten boarders at a private girls' school, Burnham House, in East Bridgford. By 1911 Charles was also assisting his father on the farm while his brother John's occupation was given as drill manufacturer. Hilda was still at home but of no given occupation. Francis employed a farm servant and general domestic servant. The eldest daughter, Edith Mary had married Harry Needham (b. 1867), a Wesleyan Methodist minister, in 1904 and in 1911 they were living in Birstall Yorkshire. Their daughter Mary Hilda was born later that year and their son, Charles Francis, four years later in 1915. Charles' father completed a form for the army in June 1919, witnessed by Rev. H Needham of Burford Road, Nottingham, listing his son's surviving blood relatives: Parents: Francis and Mary Walker res. Tithby Brother: John Newton Walker (38) res. Bingham Sisters: Hilda H. Walker (32) res. Tithby. Edith M Needham (35) res. Nottingham. Nephew/niece: Mary Hilda Needham (8, 1911 reg. Dewsbury Yorks) and Charles Francis Needham (3, reg. 1915 Middlesborough) res. Nottingham Uncles/aunts: John Newton (58) res. Cropwell Butler, Hannah Newton (68) res. Bingham, Rebekah Doncaster [née Newton] (61) res. Bingham, Sarah Squires (66) res. Lanham. Francis Walker died on 9 May 1925 aged 83. In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled his widow Mary was living at Ragnall House, Dunham on Trent, East Retford, Nottinghamshire, with her married daughter Hilda Lake (m. 1920), Hilda's husband George, a farmer and also an air raid warden, and their daughter Mary Edith (b. 1923). Edith Needham and her husband Harry, a retired minister, were living in Woodthorpe, Nottingham, with Edith's maternal aunts, Hannah Newton (b. 1850) single OAP and Rebekah Doncaster (b. 1857) widow living on private means. Mary Walker died on 3 December 1943 aged 94 and was buried with her husband in Cropwell Butler Cemetery.
1911 - farmer. 1914 - farmer (cowman and shepherd)
10 Apr 1918
42703 - CWGC Website
Enlised Bingham, Nottinghamshire.
Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Formerly 59149 Private 3rd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment). Charles Harold attested on 10 December 1915 aged 30 years 2 months and was posted to the Army Reserve the following day. He was mobilised on 17 August 1916 and posted to the 3rd Bn Sherwood Foresters on 19 August. Charles transferred to the Machine Gun Corps on 12 October 1916 and trained at Belton Park, near Grantham, Lincolnshire. Charles embarked at Southampton with 214th Coy MGC on 16 March 1917 to join the BEF France, and disembarked at Le Havre the following day. The previous month he had been charged with being absent from Belton Park from tattoo on 9 February 1917 until 13 February 1917, a period of 3 days 22 hours and 50 minutes, for which he was deprived of days' pay. A month after arriving in France, Charles was admitted to Field Ambulance on 7 April with impetigo, a common and contagious skin infection causing sores and blisters, then transferred on 9 April to 47 Casualty Clearing Station, rejoining the company on 6 May. A month later on 7 June he was wounded in action, suffering gunshot wounds to the back, and after initial treatment was admitted to 11 Stationary Hospital Rouen on 11 June followed by periods in hospitals in France before his discharge when he rejoined at the Base Depot Camiens on 27 July 1917. Charles joined 164 Coy, in August 1917 followed by 3rd Army Rest Camp on 9 October from which he was admitted to hospital on 23 October 1917 suffering from pyrexia ('fever'). He was then admitted to 55 Casualty Clearing Station on 2 November, then transferred to No. 12 General Hospital on 6 November before being medically evauated to the UK where he was admitted to the 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham, on 16 November 1916. Charles was discharged on 17 December and awarded furlough from 17 December to 27 December 1917, address on leave Tithby. Charles embarked at Folkestone on 27 March 1918 disembarking Boulogne and joining at the Base Depot Camiens the same day. Charles was killed in action 15 days later on 10 April 1918 and is buried in Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension Bailleul, France (grave ref. IV.D.14). The history of the cemetery suggests that Charles' grave was brought in after the Armistice. Charles served for a total of 2 years 122 days: Home 10 December 1915-15 March 1917 (1y 96d). France 16 March 1917-15 November 1917 (254 days). Home 16 November 1917-26 March 1918 (131d). France 27 March 1918-10 April 1918 (15d). He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal which were sent to his brother, John Newton Walker, West Bank, Bingham, in 1922. CWGC - History of Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension (extract): 'Outtersteene was captured by the III Corps on 13 October 1914 but no Commonwealth burials took place there for nearly three years. In August 1917, during the Third Battle of Ypres, the 2nd, 53rd and 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Stations came to Outtersteene, and the first and last of these remained until March 1918. The hamlet was captured by the Germans on 12 April 1918, and retaken by the 9th, 29th and 31st Divisions, with the ridge beyond it, on 18 and 19 August, but the cemetery was not used again during hostilities. After the Armistice, over 900 graves of 1914 and 1918 were brought into Plots I, II and IV from the battlefields surrounding Outtersteene and from certain small cemeteries [listed].' (www.cwgc.org)
Inscription family headstone, Cropwell Butler cemetery: 'In ever loving memory of Francis Walker who entered into eternal life May 9th 1925 aged 83 years. The saints triumphant rise in bright array. Alleluia. Also Mary the beloved wife of the above entered into the joy of the Lord Dec. 3rd 1943, aged 94 years. A faithful witness, a true saint, a lovely mother. Also of Charles Harold, younger son of the above who gave his life for his country in France April 11th (sic) 1918, aged 32 years. Thou Lord his captain in the well fought fight, Alleluia.' Quotation from the hymn, ‘For all the saints who from their labours rest', words by Bishop William Walsham How. Probate: Walker Charles Harold of Tithby Bingham Nottinghamshire private in HM Army died 10 April 1918 in France or Belgium Probate Nottinghamn 22 November to John Newton Walker [brother] agricultural drill maker and Harry Needham [brother-in-law] nonconformist minister. Effects £93 5s. Charles' nephew, Charles Francis Needham, the son of his sister Edith Mary, was in the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps (2818 Sergeant) which was mobilised on 8 December 1941. Charles was taken prisoner at the fall of Hong Kong to the Japanese on 25 December 1941. He was held in Japan in Nagoya Camp 2 and his name was on a list of Allied Prisoners of War (Japan) dated 15 August 1945. The information included the names of his parents, Rev. Harry Needham and Edith Mary Needham of Wensley Road, Woodthorpe, Nottingham. Charles was in the the HKVDC Fortress Signal Company which comprised employees of the Hong Kong Telephone Company: two officers, CSM, 14 British Other Ranks and 100 Chinese linesmen. With one exception (the CSM) the European engineers held the rank of sergeant. Charles survived imprisonment and returned to Nottingham in October 1945. Nottingham Evening Post, 21 September 1945: ‘Local Ex-POW Returning. Major L Hayes of 11, Broadgate-avenue, Beeston, son of Coun HH Hayes, who worked at Messrs, Ericsson’s, and who was the commanding officer of the Hong Kong Signal Company, is now with the Allied Forces … Sgt. Charles F Needham, Royal Signals, of 26, Wensley-road, Woodthorpe, released from Osaka, now in Australia.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 29 October 1945: ‘Local Ex-Prisoners Home From Far East. Local prisoners of war from the Far East who arrived in Nottingham yesterday were ... Sgt CF Needham of 26, Wensley-road Woodthorpe.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Family headstone, Cropwell Butler cemetery, Nottinghamshire.  Photograph Rachel Farrand (August 2012)
    Charles Harold Walker - Family headstone, Cropwell Butler cemetery, Nottinghamshire. Photograph Rachel Farrand (August 2012)
  • Buried in Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension Bailleul, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    Charles Harold Walker - Buried in Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension Bailleul, France. (www.cwgc.org)