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  • Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
22 Jul 1884
Nottingham
Joseph Edgar was the son of Joseph and Rosa Walker (née Mayfield). His father was born in Osgathorpe, Leicestershire, in about 1861 and his mother in Blyth, Nottinghamshire, in about 1866, the daughter of John and Frances Mayfield. Joseph and Rosa were married at Nottingham (Meadows) St Saviour in April 1884 and had eight children, one of whom died in infancy or childhood. Their surviving children were: Joseph Edgar b. 22 July 1884 bap. Nottingham St John 20 September 1885, Cecilia b. 1886 bap. St John 1886, Minnie May birth registered 1889 bap Nottingham St George 1892, Grace Annie b. 1892 bap St George 1892, Elijah George (George) b. 1897, Gladys Rose Edna b. 1899 and Charles Wilfred b. 1901. In 1891, Joseph, a railway goods guard, Rosa and their three children, Joseph, Cecilia and Minnie, were living at 2 Sherwood Cottages, Goodhead Street, Meadows. They had moved to 10 Castleton Street, Meadows, by the following year when Minnie and Grace were baptised. However, in 1901 Joseph, a foreman railway porter, Rosa and their seven children, Joseph a coal miner hewer, Cecilia a cigar packer (factory), Minnie, Grace, George, Gladys and Charles were at Sceptre Terrace, 23 Park Lane, Old Basford. By 1911 the family was living at 17 Churchill Street, Old Lenton, Nottingham. Only Grace, George, Gladys and Charles were still living with their parents. Cecilia had married George Varney (KIA 1917) in 1905 and they and their two children, Rosa and George, were living at 18 Churchill Street, Old Lenton. Minnie had married William Beetles in 1907 and they and their two sons, William and Ernest, were living off Hartley Road, Radford. Joseph had joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry in 1903 and was serving at Portsmouth aboard HMS Superb. Rosa Walker died in 1914 and her husband Joseph in July 1922. Joseph Edgar married Bertha Caroline Basten in 1915 (reg. Alverstoke Hants). Bertha was born in 1888, the daughter of George and Caroline Basten. In 1911 she was a shop assistant and living with her parents on Mitcham Road, Tooting, London. Joseph and Bertha had one child, Ivy Adelaide Ruby b. 1916. The CWGC record gave Bertha's address as 41 Lyveden Road, Tooting, London. Bertha did not remarry and died in 1955.
1901 - coal miner/hewer. 23 March 1903 - enlisted in the Royal Marine Light Infantry, former occupation collier
05 Apr 1917
32
3041793 - CWGC Website
PO/12929
Private
Royal Marine Light Infantry
Royal Marine Light Infantry Walker attested at Nottingham in 1903 aged 18. He joined the Recruit Depot, Deal, on 23 March 1903 and following training transferred to Portsmouth Division RMLI on 28 January 1904. Joseph was serving in HMS Superb, a Bellerophon-class dreadnought battleship (1907), in 1911. On 24 June that year HMS Superb (Home Fleet) was at Spithead for the Coronation Fleet Review for King George V. He joined HMS Albermarle on 14 May 1913, serving in Albermarle until 6 January 1915. He then transferred to Portsmouth Division, 7 January 1915-29 April 1915; Victory, 30 April 1914-21 June 1915; (-), 22 June 1915 -13 July 1915; Monitor 21, 14 July 1915-11 February 1917; HMS Hannibal 21 February 1917, President III for (-), 22 February 1917-5 April 1917. HMS Monitor 21, an M-Class Monitor (shore bombardment vessel), served in the Mediterranean from September 1915 to September 1917. HMS Hannibal, a battleship which had been converted to a troopship, was then a depot ship based in Alexandria, Egypt, from November 1915 to the end of the war. Subsequent entries in Joseph's service record are partially illegible, but appear to read: 'To SNO [Senior Naval Officer?] Port Said [Egypt, northern end of the Suez Canal] 21 February 1917. Lent to HMS (-) 29 March 1917. To City of Paris 29 March 1917.' The entry in the WW1 Pension Ledger gives Joseph's unit as President III (SS City of Paris). President III was an accounting base for the Royal Fleet Reserve, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and Royal Naval Reserve, including DEMS (Defence of Merchant Ships). According to one naval history site, SS City of Paris was armed. Joseph was serving at sea in the Mediterranean from September 1915 until February 1917 when he came ashore and for administrative purposes was attached to HMS Hannibal then President III before being transferred to SS City of Paris on 29 March 1917. SS City of Paris was on passage from Karachi to Liverpool, via Marseilles, and would have transitted the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean. Joseph was probably attached to the merchant ship to train the crew in weapon handling. Joseph was killed on 5 April 1917 when the SS City of Paris was sunk by torpedo by the German submarine UC-35. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (27). He qualified for the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. SS City of Paris: City of Paris was a British Passenger/Cargo Steamer of 9,239 tons built in 1907 by Barclay Curle & Company, Glasgow for Ellerman Lines Ltd (G.Smith & Sons), Glasgow. She was powered by a steam, quadruple expansion engine, 670nhp giving a speed of 15 knots. On the 4th April 1917, whilst on a voyage from Karachi via Marseille to Liverpool carrying general cargo and 13 passengers, she was struck by a torpedo from German submarine UC-35 (Ernst von Voigt) when 46 miles S by E of the Cap d´Antibes. Those on the vessel got into the boats. The submarine commander shouted for the captain, but he could not be found. The submarine fired a second torpedo and finished her off. 122 people were killed. French warships picked up three lifeboats containing 29 dead Lascar crew members. Another 12 dead were found in another boat and the rest were never seen again. (Courtesy of https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?31614) All 122 crew and passengers died in the sinking of SS City of Paris. An incomplete casualty list on the above website lists 48 casualties, including Joseph Walker who was the only serviceman named. The majority of the casualties were from the Indian Merchant Service and the remainder, including two stewardesses, from the Mercantile Marine. 'Royal Navy ROH WW1', Don Kindell. This publication lists only one RN casualty from the SS City of Paris, Joseph Walker RMLI, suggesting that he was not embarked as one of a Naval party. UC-35 was launched in May 1916 and commissioned in October 1916. She was credited with sinking 48 ships (torpedo or mine) and damaging five in 11 patrols. UC-35 (Hans Paul Korsch) was sunk off the coast of Sardinia on 16 May 1918 by the French torpedo boat Aigli (25 dead, 5 survivors). Between 3 May 1918 and 16 May 1918 UC-35 damaged one ship and sank six, including SS Villa De Soller (Sp.) on 15 May.
Joseph's brother-in-law, George Varney, the husband of his sister Cecilia, served with the 8th Bn South Staffordshire Regiment (43214 Private) and was killed in action in France on 10 February 1917. (See record on this Roll of Honour) CWGC: 'Son of Joseph and Edna Walker; husband of Bertha Walker of 41, Lyveden Rd., Tooting, London. Native of Nottingham.' CWGC cites Edna as Walker's mother but all other records indicate Rosa. That one of his sisters was named Gladys Rose Edna may suggest that Edna was a middle name for Rose Walker. Research by David Nunn
Remembered on

Photos

  • Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. (www.cwgc.org)
    Joseph Edgar Walker - Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. (www.cwgc.org)