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  • Photograph was published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 14th April 1916 and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Person Details
Nottingham
Walter Ernest Gray was born in Nottingham in 1882 (reg. J/F/M), the son of Henry and Elizabeth Gray (née Clements m. 1860). Walter was one of the youngest of at least nine children. In 1871, the family was living at Clifton, Nottinghamshire, where Henry was a farmer of 64 acres. They later moved to Nottingham Walter married Mary Elizabeth Melville in 1901 (reg. J/A/S). His wife was born in Nottingham in June 1880, the daughter of Evelyn Melville. Evelyn married Charles Frederick Watson in 1892 and their son, James was born in about 1893. Walter and Mary had five children, two of whom died in early childhood: Ellen Elizabeth b. 1901, James Frederick b. 1903 d. 1909, Doris Evelyn b. 1905 (reg. 1906 J/F/M), Grace A, b. 1911 d. 1912 and Henry b. 1913. All the children were born in Nottingham. Walter, a labourer (Nottingham Canal), and his two daughters, Ellen (9) and Doris (5) were recorded on the 1911 Census living with his parents Henry and Elizabeth at 66 Gregory Street, Lenton. His wife Mary Elizabeth has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census. Their daughter Grace was born later that year but died in 1912 before her first birthday, and their son Henry was born in 1913. Walter's family was living at 58 Gregory Street, Lenton, at the time of his death in 1916 although the later WW1 Pension Ledgers records his widow's address as Radford. Walter's father, Henry Gray, died in February 1917; he was still living at 66 Gregory Street, Lenton, and his widow Elizabeth was recorded at the same address on the 1918 and 1919 Electoral Rolls. The later CWGC record gave her address as Priory Street, Lenton, but by 1921 she may have moved to Clifton, Nottingham, and living with two of her children. Walter's widow, Mary, died in 1918 aged about 38. In 1921 two of their children, Doris and Henry, were living in Nottingham with their maternal grandmother Evelyn Watson and her husband Charles Frederick. The eldest child, Ellen Elizabeth, had probably married William Soar in 1919 and they too were living in Nottingham.
03 Mar 1916
35
907622 - CWGC Website
20820
Private
10th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
10th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment). The 10th (Service) Battalion was one of the battalions of the New Armies and formed at Derby in September 1914 when it came under orders of 51st Brigade 17th (Northern) Division. The battalion landed at Boulogne for service with the BEF France on 14 July 1915. 'The 17th Division was involved in fighting at the Bluff (south east of Ypres on the Comines canal), part of a number of engagements officially known as the Actions of Spring 1916.' (www.longlongtrail.com) Walter Ernest Gray was killed in action on 3 March 1916. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium (Panel 39 & 41). CWGC - History of the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (extract): 'The Menin Gate is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient. Broadly speaking, the Salient stretched from Langemarck in the north to the northern edge in Ploegsteert Wood in the south, but it varied in area and shape throughout the war. The Salient was formed during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914, when a small British Expeditionary Force succeeded in securing the town before the onset of winter, pushing the German forces back to the Passchendaele Ridge. (www.cwgc.org)
CWGC additional information: 'He was the son of Mrs Gray of Priory Street Old Lenton Nottingham and the husband of the late Mary E Gray.' Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 22 March 1916: ‘Gray. Killed in action, March 3rd, 1916, Pte Walter Ernest Gray, 10th Sherwood Foresters. Sadly missed by his wife and children.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 14 April 1916 photograph with caption: 'Pte W E Gray (Sherwood Foresters), 58 Gregory Street, Lenton, killed in action March 3rd, aged 35.’ Registers of Soldiers' Effects: named his widow Mary E. as his legatee but also a guardian, Evelyn Watson, to whom a payment of £3 was made and a payment of £1 10s. was also made to his daughter Ellen.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Photograph was published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 14th April 1916 and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    Walter Ernest Gray - Photograph was published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 14th April 1916 and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
  • Commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. (cwgc.org.uk)
    Walter Ernest Gray - Commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. (cwgc.org.uk)