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  • This photo was first published in the Retford Times following the death of William Henry Stamford Walker
Person Details
Retford, Nottinghamshire
William Henry Stamford Walker was born in Retford in 1894 to Benjamin Walker, an iron plate riveter, and his wife, Mary Alice Stamford. The couple had married in Retford in 1893. William was their first and eldest child but was followed by four other children, Ernest Stamford W 1897, Leonard W. 1899, Maud Alexander W. 190 and Arthur Moody W born 1904. In 1901, Ernest and Leonard were living with their parents at 25 Humber Street, Retford, whilst William was resident at his maternal grandparents, William Henry and Sarah Stamford at Church Lane, Clarborough, Retford. Unfortunately for the family, Benjamin died in 1903 aged just 35, which, in 1911 had caused his widowed wife Mary and her five children, move in with her parents, now living at 24 Thomas Street, Retford. William Henry was now 16 and no doubt contributing to the family purse by working as a builders joiner. It was in 1912, after nine years a widow, that William’s mother remarried to Walter Wightman in Retford. They had a son who they named Walter in early 1914 just before William Henry enlisted.
16 May 1917
818623 - CWGC Website
Acting Sergeant
15th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
William HS Walker enlisted for the duration of war and joined the Sherwood Foresters on 8 Sept 1914. He was promoted to Corporal on the 25 Oct 1915 and to Acting Sergeant 20 Dec 1916. He went to the Western Front on 7th March 1917 and was killed in action just two months later. As there is no known grave he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. William’s brother Ernest enlisted in the 8th Sherwood Foresters on 6 Jan 1914, before the declaration of war. He was 17 years old. He went to France from March 2 1915 until 10 Oct 1916. He was transferred to the Royal Engineers until his demob on 16 Dec 1918. Sergeant W H Walker Retford Times 25 May 1917 Another brave soldier in the person of Sergt W H Walker, Sherwood Foresters, son of Mrs Wightman, Thomas Street, Retford, has made the great sacrifice. He was 22 years of age and served his apprenticeship as a joiner with Mr Lister Hopkinson, of the Square, Retford. He joined the Sherwood Foresters three years ago next September and soon received promotion. He was for some time, before going to France nine weeks ago, sergeant instructor in bombing and musketry at Cannock Chase. He met with his death in a charge on May 16th and much sympathy is felt with his mother and father in law in their sad bereavement, for Sergt Walker was a promising young man who was highly respected by all who knew him. The Lieut in charge of his platoon writes; “I cannot tell you how deeply grieved I am to tell you of the death of your son, Sergt Walker. He was killed in action early this morning (May 16th). As his platoon commander I shall miss him very much indeed. He was conscientious and willing worker and although I had only known him a few weeks we became very much attached. During the short time he was with this battalion he showed himself to be a very capable soldier. Early this morning we were in action and Sgt Walker and I were together. In the engagement he had behaved with remarkable courage. He said to me, “Oh, I’m shot sir”. I carried him a short distance and then another Sergt came to help me. He died almost instantly in my arms, and I can assure you he died a hero’s death.” Sergt Walker has two brothers seving, Ernest and Leonard. Ernest joined at the beginning of the war and was the first Retford Terrier to be wounded in France. After recovering from his wounds he went back to France and was in the trenches for 20 months when his health broke down and was sent back to England and is now working in a shipyard. Leonard Walker, who is only 18 years of age joined the Army on Wednesday last, the day on which his brother was killed and he is undergoing his training at Cannock Chase. The deceased soldier was engaged to be married to Miss Banks, daughter of Mr and Mrs S Banks, Albert Road, Retford.
CWG additional information:- Stepson of Mr. W. C. Wightman, of 13, Thomas St., Thrumpton, Retford, Notts. Research by Colin Dannatt
Remembered on


  • This photo was first published in the Retford Times following the death of William Henry Stamford Walker
    William Henry Stamford Walker - This photo was first published in the Retford Times following the death of William Henry Stamford Walker