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  • Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Etaples Military Cemetery, France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
Person Details
Hucknall Torkard Nottinghamshire
Walter Morrison was born in 1894 at Hucknall and was the son of Betsy Morrison and the late Thomas Morrison a joiner and carpenter of 111 Derbyshire Lane Hucknall Torkard Nottinghamshire. His father Thomas Morrison was born in 1852 in Hose, Leicestershire, he died in 1903 aged 51 yrs. He was married twice, his first marriage was in 1872 to Lucy Palethorpe Skidmore, they had the following children, John Henry b1873, Walter born 1876 (died 1892) Thomas Herbert b1880, Samuel b1882 Gertrude 1884. His first wife died in 1889. Thomas married his second wife Betsy Ordish in 1893 their marriage was recorded in the Basford Registration district, Betsy brought a son to the marriage, Harold Ordish born in 1884, she went on to have the following children with Thomas, Walter b1894 at Hucknall and Bernard b1897 also at Hucknall. In the 1911 census the family are living at 111 Derbyshire Lane at Hucknall, they are shown as Betsy Morrison 56 yrs a widow and house keeper, she is living with her children Harold Ordish 27 yrs a collier labourer, Walter 17 yrs a coal miner and Bernard 14 yrs a pony driver.
He was a miner (assistant onsetter underground).
18 Aug 1915
504214 - CWGC Website
111 Derbyshire Lane, Hucknall
Lance Corporal
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Lance Corporal Walter Morrison, enlisted on 26th January 1912 at Kimberly, he gave his age as 18 yrs and he stated he was a collier employed by the Sherwood Colliery Company, he gave his address as 111 Derbyshire Lane , Hucknall and that he was a Methodist. His mother Betsey was his next of kin. He served with the Sherwood Foresters until 2nd April 1912 when he was discharged to join the Special Reserve and served with the 2nd Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire) Regiment. Mobilised for war on 6th August 1914 he was promoted to Lance Corporal on 11th November 1914 and landed in France on the same day. He died of wounds on 18th August 1915 at 26th general hospital, Etaples,he is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery.
A pre-war member of the Special Reserve, he described his life in camp prior to landing in France (on 11th November 1914) in a letter to the local newspaper the Hucknall dispatch published on 19TH November 1914. “Dear Sir, “I thought you would like to know how the 4th Sherwood Foresters were getting on, as most of the boys who have enlisted at Hucknall have joined our regiment. As soon as the order came to mobilise, we proceeded to our depot to receive our clothes and equipment, and in less than six hours after examination, we were proceeding north to our destination. We did not know wither we were bound until we reached Newcastle. We entrained on the N.E. Electric Railway to North Shields, a port at the entrance to the River Tyne. We settled down soon after arrival, and had orders to guard the important positions to the river, namely, the various docks, where the Government oil tanks are situated for the purpose of supplying the torpedo destroyers, which patrol the N.E. coast. It was fine to see these vessels of war, dodging the shipping and following any suspicious vessels, which then abounded in these waters. They have a remarkable turn of speed, catching up any vessel in a short space of time. At the entrance to the town are our huge guns, which guard their particular part of the coast. At night large and powerful searchlights are sending forth their rays out to sea for about 15 miles, on the look-out for any hostile craft. “I saw one Austrian vessel which would not comply after being signalled to come into port, and in less than five minutes the vessel was beginning to sink. The guns from the forts nearly ripped her in two. She managed to get into the River Tyne all right, and we guarded her until we were removed from North Shields. Afterwards we went further north to Backworth, which is a small mining village near to the coast, and here for two months we have been digging day after day, making trenches, which are now complete. The place is surrounded by trenches; the colliery dirt heaps are full of them, and each side of [the] heaps will be planted maxim guns if any invasion is attempted. We are the first line of coast defence. “Our recruits are getting along finely, and we are getting them into fine mettle to say how long they have been in the army, but they have not got quite used to the sharp word of command, which we platoon commanders have to use. We have had to man the trenches several times, when the German fleet has been busy up this part of the coast. “Part of our regiment is going to Southampton, and a good many are disappointed because they are not selected. I am the only one from Hucknall in this draft. I hope to see a good many more boys join this fine regiment – the 4th Sherwood Foresters.” He wrote again to the local press, the Hucknall Dispatch his letter was published 6th May 1915 with the news that Bulwell man, Pte. Marshall Cotterill, 2nd Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment, had succumbed to wounds on 12th April 1915. "A Bulwell Man's Death "We have received a letter from Lance Corporal W. Morrison, 2nd Sherwood Foresters, concerning the fate of Pte. Cotterill of Bulwell, who, as our readers are aware, was wounded several times before being killed by the Germans. Morrison states that Cotterill was on sentry in the morning in the listening post - a kind of sap head dug-out, about 150 yards ahead of their firing trench, when the Germans opened out with their artillery. Pieces of shrapnel hit him in his foot, ankle and also cut away part of his scalp. He lost enormous quantities of blood, and Morrison states that when he saw him he thought he would not last long. He died in the hospital and was buried the next day, where his relatives could, if they wished, see his lasting resting place. "The writer adds that he was sending some of the shell which killed Cotterill and also part of the clock face which is attached to the shell. "This gruesome relic has not yet come to hand and possibly it has been intercepted by the censor." In an article published on 15th May 1915 in Nottm Local Press states Actually, it was delivered to Cotterill's mother, Eliza. On 13th May 1915 she smashed the windows of a 'German' butcher, Robert Miller, at 16 Commercial Road, Bulwell. News of his being wounded was published in the Hucknall Dispatch published 19th August 1915 by which time he had passed away. “Lance Corporal Morrison's wound is dangerous, and consists of a gunshot wound in the shoulder and arm. He has been in the trenches 10 months. The chaplain of the hospital writes saying he is in great danger, but they hope he will pull through.” All above articles are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
Remembered on


  • Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Etaples Military Cemetery, France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
    Walter Morrison - Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Etaples Military Cemetery, France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
  • Photograph published in the Hucknall Dispatch 19th August 1915 and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War
    Walter Morrison - Photograph published in the Hucknall Dispatch 19th August 1915 and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War