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Person Details
St Ann's Nottingham
Walter was born in 1889, the third surviving son of John Champion and his wife Annie née Askew. John Champion was born in Burton Joyce, Nottinghamshire, and his wife Annie in 1859 in Oakham, Rutland. Their marriage was registered in the Nottingham registration district in 1882 (September quarter) and they were to have 11 children although three died in infancy or childhood before 1911. Their surviving eight children were: John (b. 1883), Fanny (b. 1884), Thomas (b. 1887), Walter (b. 1889), William (b. 1891), Raymond (b. 1898), Rose (b. 1901) and Albert (b. 1905). All the children were born in St Ann’s, Nottingham. In 1901 the family home was at 12 Rushworth Avenue, St Ann’s but by 1911 John, a gasworks labourer, and Annie were living at 6 Calcutta Street, St Ann’s. At home on the night of the census were their three youngest children; Raymond (13) and Rose (10), who were both at school, and Albert (6). Also in the household were their married daughter, Fanny, her husband Henry Middleton, an engine driver, and their son John Henry. John, the eldest son, had joined the Royal Field Artillery (102 Battery) in 1902 and having extended his period of service to eight years was discharged to the Army Reserve on 16 June 1910. He served initially as a driver and later as a shoeing smith and served in South Africa from 21 February 1905 to 5 April 1910. On John’s return to England he married Fanny Adcock, a widow, in the Nottingham Register Office on 23 June 1910. In 1911 John was a shop keeper and living at 34 Hawkridge Gardens, Nottingham, with his wife and stepson George Adcock (10). Also in the household was John’s younger brother, William (20), a brass bobbin winder. John was discharged from the Army Reserve on 30 June 1914 and according to his service record his address on discharge was 6 Calcutta Street, Nottingham, his parent’s home. His record was annotated that he intended emigrating to Canada and no further trace has yet been found of either John or his family. Walter’s older brother Thomas had joined the Grenadier Guards in August 1905 transferring to the Army Reserve in August 1908. He married Grace Alice Sturtivant in St Anns on 14 May 1910 and they had three children; Thomas Albert (born 22 April 1911), Arthur (born 23 April 1915) and Grace A (born 1919). All the children were born in Nottingham. Walter also joined the Army, enlisting in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in 1906 and serving first in Malta and then India. He returned to England in 1913 and was discharged to the Army Reserve on 1 March 1914. He married Harriet Ellen Baxter on 8 June 1914 at the Nottingham Register Office, and they had one daughter, Edna Rachel, born 3 October 1914. The Great War brought tragedy to the Champion family when three of the brothers, Walter, William and Raymond, who served the Colours made the ‘supreme sacrifice’ and a fourth brother, Thomas King, died in 1919 shortly after being discharged from the Army. William served in the Machine Gun Corps and died on 1 May 1917 while his younger brother, Raymond, who served with the Royal Scots regiment, died of wounds five months later on 19 October 1917. Raymond had enlisted under age (16 years 11 months) in April 1915; wounded on 30 September 1917 he was evacuated to England on 2 October 1917 and transferred to Keighley War Hospital where he died 17 days later. Their brother, Thomas King, was discharged from the Grenadier Guards on 5 March 1919 having served throughout the war, but died on 25 June the same year aged 31.
He was a threader in the lace industry.
03 Nov 1914
1606322 - CWGC Website
1st Bn King's Royal Rifle Corps
Walter enlisted in Nottingham on 24 April 1906 at Nottingham; he was 18 years 5 months old. He gave his place of birth as St Anns and occupation as that of threader. The following day on 25 April he was posted to Winchester and joined the Kings Royal Rifles Corps. He served in Malta from 13 February 1906 until 11 November 1910, and was then posted to India where he served until 25 February 1913. He returned home and was discharged to the Army Reserve on 1 March 1914. Walter was mobilised on the outbreak of war and rejoined his regiment and with them formed part of the British Expeditionary force which landed at Rouen on 13 August 1914. He was posted missing in action on 3 November 1914 at Gheluvelt. However, his death was not confirmed until 4 March 1916. He has no known grave and his name is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres. He served for 8 years and 194 days.
'In Memoriam' notices published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 3rd November 1916:- “CHAMPION. – In loving memory of Walter, 1st King's Royal Rifles, died of wounds November 3rd, 1914. Deeply mourned. They miss him most who loved him best. – Sorrowing sister and husband, Fanny Harry Middleton, late Calcutta-street, and sister Ross, also brothers Jack, Tom, Bill, Raymond (in France). “CHAMPION. – In loving remembrance of Walter, 1st King's Royal Rifles, died of wounds November 3rd, 1914. Silently mourned. – From sorrowing wife and baby.” Nottingham Evening Post, Saturday 3 November 1917: ‘Champion. In loving memory of Walter, killed in action November 3rd, 1914; also Billy, killed in action May 1st, 1917; and Raymond who died of wounds October 19th, 1917. True brothers in life, united in death. Sorrowing mother, dad, brothers, sister Rosie, and dearly-loved brothers of Fanny Middleton, 3 Chester-terrace, Goodhead-street.’ (Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) 'In Memoriam' notices in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 18th October 1919:- “CHAMPION. – In ever-loving memory of our dear sons and brother, Pte. Raymond Champion, died of wounds October 19th, 1917; Lce.-Cpl. William (Billy), M.G.C., killed in action May 1st, 1917; Rfmn. Walter, K.R.R., died of wounds November 3rd, 1914; Thomas, died in hospital June 26th, 1919. Ever in our thoughts. – From mother, dad, sister Rose, and brother Albert. “CHAMPION. – In loving memory of my dear brother, Raymond, died of wounds, October 19th, 1917. Silently mourned. – From sister Fanny and brother-in-law Harry and family.” above obituaries courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
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