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  • Buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery, Boezinge, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
03 Mar 1885
Walter Stanley Gimson was born in 1885 the son of William and Martha Gimson (née Williams). His father William Gimson was born on 20 May 1845 in Leicester and became a timber merchant, head of the firm Messrs Wm Gimson & Sons. His mother Martha Williams was born on 2 December 1853 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire. William and Martha were married on 11 April 1876 at the parish church of North & South Rauceby (reg. A/M/J Sleaford Lincolnshire). They had nine children who were all born in Leicester: Emily Jane birth reg. 1877 (J/F/M), William Leonard b. 1878, Henry [Harry] Hay b. 8 January 1880, Annie b. 1881, Edward Oscar b. 1883, Walter Stanley b. 3 March 1885, Mary b. 1886, Albert Yeomans b. 1891 and Margery Clara b. 28 January 1893. In 1891 William (45) and Martha (37) wre living on Regent Road, Leicester, with their eight children: Emily (14), Wiliam (12), Henry (11), Annie (9), Edward (7), Walter (6), Mary (4) and Albert (under one year). Also in the household were a cook, housemaid and domestic nurse. The ninth child, Margery, was born two years later in 1893. By 1901 William and Martha had moved to live at 'Rothesay', Victoria Road, Leicester. and were still at the same address in 1911. However, in 1911 only three of their nine children were in the home on the night of the census: William Leonard (married) a civil engineer, Mary who was involved in 'philanthropic work' and Albert an apprentice timber merchant. Also in the household was a cousin, David Sturton, a chemist. William and Martha employed two live-in domestic servants. Walter Stanley had left home and was a boarder at 'The Hawthorns', Dagmar Grove, Alexandra Park, Nottingham, in the home of Ellen Slater (married). Walter was a partner in the firm of Messrs. Gimson and Slater, cabinet makers, of Nottingham. Walter married Isabel Beatrice Moss (formerly Soher) at Fulham register office in June 1917 (Grimson-sic/Moss AMJ Fulham London). Isabel Beatrice was born in Loughborough, Leicestershire, on 31 March 1879 and had married Le Roy Soher, formerly of New York, at Loughborough Emmanuel church on 15 April 1903. However, she was granted a divorce on the grounds of desertion in 1913. Isabel was living in London at the time of the petition. Walter made a Will which gave his address as Thyra Grove, Alexandra Park, Nottingham. His widow Isobel later lived at 9 Forest Road, Loughborough (CWGC and Medal Rolls Index Cards). She was still living at the same address when she died at The Retreat, Richill, County Armagh, on 13 January 1927. Walter's brother, Albert Yeomans, served in the war as a captain in the Norfolk Yeomanry. Walter's mother Martha died on 23 November 1923; she and William were still living at 'Rothesay', Victoria Road, Leicester. William was living at 'Rothesay', University Road, Leicester, when he died seven years later on 25 May 1930 aged 85. (Report Leicester Chronicle, 31 May). Probate was awarded to his son Henry Hay, timber merchant, his daughter Margery Clara Gimston and a solicitor. Both Martha and William were buried at Welford Road Cemetery, Welford Road, Leicester.
He was a cabinet maker and later partner in the firm of Messrs. Gimson and Slater, cabinet makers, of Nottingham (founded 1908)
16 Aug 1917
440109 - CWGC Website
  • MC MC Military Cross
King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry attached 61st Trench Mortar Bty. Walter enlisted on 14th July 1914 and served with 10th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby) Regiment (17286 Private) and was promoted corporal and then sergeant. He served in France from 14 July 1915. Four months later he was admitted to hospital on 22 November suffering from influenza but was discharged to duty three days later on 25 November. The following month, on 14 December 1915, he was admitted to hospital with a shrapnel wound in his side; he was transferred to the Divisional Rest Station on 17 December 1915. Walter was commissioned second lieutenant on 15 March 1916. London Gazette 4 April 1916: ‘Serjeant W S Gimson had been transferred from a (Service) Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) to the King’s Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry)’. On 14th November 1916 it was reported in the London Gazette that ‘Temp. 2nd Lieutenant W. S. Gimson was transferred for duty with Trench Mortar Battalion from the Yorkshire Light Infantry.’ Walter was awarded the Military Cross in the 1917 New Year's Honours List (London Gazette 29886, 1 January 1917). He took part in the Third Battle of Ypres, often referred to as Passchendaele, at Langemarck, a village which had been lost to the enemy in April 1915, and where an attack began on 16th August 1917. The 7th King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry was part of the leading advance, crossing the Steenbeeck early in the morning. The attack was held up by fire from blockhouses to the west of the village. These were cleared by the men of the 7th KOYLI. It was a costly battle with an estimated 15,000 casualties for an advance of no more than 1,500 yards. Walter Gimson was one of the casualties on that first day, 16 August 1917. He is buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery, Boezinge, Belgium (grave reference: IV.B.48). CWGC - History of Bard Cottage Cemetery (extract): 'For much of the First World War, the village of Boesinghe (now Boezinge) directly faced the German line across the Yser canal. Bard Cottage was a house a little set back from the line, close to a bridge called Bard's Causeway, and the cemetery was made nearby in a sheltered position under a high bank. Burials were made between June 1915 and October 1918 and they reflect the presence of the 49th (West Riding), the 38th (Welsh) and other infantry divisions in the northern sectors of the Ypres Salient, as well as the advance of artillery to the area in the autumn of 1917.' (www.cwgc.org)
CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'Till He come' CWGC Additional Information: 'Son of William Gimson, and Martha Gimson, of Leicester; husband of Isabel Beatrice Gimson, of 9, Forest Rd., Loughborough.' WMR 55121. Addition to gravestone (A964), Welford Road Cemetery, Welford Road, Leicester: ' In loving memory of William Gimson born May 20th 1845 died May 26th 1930.Also Martha Gimson born December 2nd 1853 died November 23rd 1923. Also Capt. Walter Stanley Gimson MC son of the above born March 3rd 1885 killed in action August 16th 1917 buried at Boesinghe (-)' Nottingham Evening Post, 24 August 1917: Roll of Honour: ‘GIMSON. – Killed in action, August 16th, 1917, Captain Walter Stanley Gimson, M.C., partner of Gimson and Slater, cabinet manufacturers, Nottingham.’ ‘KILLED CAPTAIN W. S. GIMSON, M.C. News has been received in Nottingham that Captain Walter Stanley Gimson, M.C., of the K.O.Y.L.I., was killed in action on August 16th. He is the fourth son of Mr. Wm. Gimson, of Rothesay, Victoria-street, Leicester, and for eight year was one of the principals in the firm of Messrs. Gimson and Slater, cabinet makers, of Nottingham. On the outbreak of war he enlisted with the Nottingham athletes in the Sherwoods, and received a commission in the K.O.Y.L.I. in January, 1916, being subsequently transferred to a trench mortar battery, which he ultimately commanded. He was wounded in December, 1916, and was awarded the Military Cross in January last. Captain Gimson, who was 33 years of age, had been on active service continuously for over two years, and was married only two months ago. He was well known in Nottingham and highly esteemed, and was a prominent playing member of the Notts. Rugby Club and a keen cricketer. Communicating the news of the his death to his wife a fellow officer says Captain Gimson was one of the most popular officers in the division, and when killed in the advance towards Langemarck was acting like a hero.’ Leicester Daily Post, 25 August 1917: ‘Capt. WS Gimson MC Killed in Action’. 'We regret to learn of the death of Captain Walter Gimson MC, who was shot through the heart in action on the morning of the 16th inst. 'Captain Gimson was the fourth son of Mr and Mrs Wm Gimson, of Rothesay, Victoria-road. He enlisted as a private in the Sherwood Foresters early in the war, was in training in various parts of the country, went abroad in the summer of 1915, and served in the ranks through the following winter. He was recommended for a commission in 1916, and was then transferred to the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He quickly gained promotion, being gazetted captain within a few months. He was slightly wounded in the same year, but did not return home. For several months recently he had been in command of a trench mortar battery, and was awarded the Military Cross in January last. 'The late Captain had been in business in Nottingham for some years in the firm of Gimson and Slater, wholesale cabinet manufacturers. He was a good type of virile English manhood – he worked hard and played hard, and was blessed with such a physique and such capabilities that in both work and play he was good. He was modest and reticent as regards his own achievements, and would never divulge why he was recommended for the Military Cross. The chief note of his character, however, was undoubtedly his never failing cheerfulness which made him a universal favourite. His letters home, written often under great difficulties always showed the same buoyant spirit. He was 32 years of age, and was married whilst on his most recent leave in June last, and his death, besides being a stunning blow to his widow and parents, will leave a gap in a large circle of relatives, friends, and business acquaintances. ‘A letter has been received by his wife from 2nd. Lieut. WA Hill in which that officer says: ‘Captain Gimson was shot through the heart and died instantaneously on the morning of the 16th instant. We were advancing towards --- and he was acting like a hero at the time of his death. No words of mine can express how deeply everyone in the brigade sympathises with your in your irreparable loss. I myself have lived with him for ten months, and am now slowly realising what a difference his death makes to the battery. He was one of the most popular officers in the division, and will be sadly missed by officers and men alike. We managed to take him back and bury him in a proper cemetery, where in due course a cross will be erected by his grave.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Probate: Gimson Walter Stanley of Thyra-grove Mapperley Nottingham captain in HM Army died 18 August 1917 in France Probate Nottingham 30 November to William Gimson timber merchant William Leonard Gimson private hotel proprietor and Harry [Henry Hay] Gimson timber merchant. Effects £4480 4s. 10d. Gimson & Slater: the Nottingham Evening Post, 7 December 1949, reported the death of Mr Harold Arthur Slater (48), managing director of Gimson & Slater which had factories at Nottingham and Long Eaton; 'He had been connected with the firm which was established by his father, for many years and took charge on his father's retirement three years ago.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Research by Peter Gillings
Remembered on


  • Buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery, Boezinge, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)
    Walter Stanley Gimson - Buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery, Boezinge, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)