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Old 26-04-14, 10:52
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Default Week 3 - Edmund Walker

Edmund was the brother-in-law of my week 1 and 2 subjects.

Edmund Walker was born on 11th April 1888 at Rawdon in Yorkshire. He was the second son of John Edward Walker and his wife, Anna Phillis nee Adams.

Edmund was brought up in the Quaker faith and spent most of his childhood living at Saffron Walden Friends' School, where his father was headmaster. When he left school he joined Barclays Bank and worked for them throughout his working life.

Towards the end of 1914 Edmund joined the 16th London Regiment as a Private. He was commissioned in October 1915 and transferred to the Cambridgeshire Regiment.

This next information is taken directly from online records about the Cambridgeshire Regiment:

2nd Lt, B coy on 31-7-17, took command of B coy when Fison wounded.
Commanded the composite company No 1 coy (consisting of survivors of A+B coys) 1-8-17.
A/Capt, commanding B coy, 26-9-17, wounded 26-9-17, remained at duty.
2nd Lt (A/Capt) to be Lt precedence from 1-6-17 (LG 13-11-17).
Rejoined 1/1st btn details 23-6-18.
Wounded 28-8-18 when shell hit btn HQ at Briqueterie, near Bernafay Wood.
To hospital 10/18, returned 14-10-18.
Awarded Military Cross (for 31-7-17, LG 18-10-17) & two bars (for 26-9-17 & 25-8-18).
MiD (CT 16-3-19). Lt (A/Capt without pay & allowances) relinquished acting rank of Capt on ceasing to be employed 28-5-19.
Lt (A/Capt & Adj) vacates appointment of adjt and relinquishes acting rank of Capt, 17-6-19 (LG 2-7-19). Last Army List = 1920.

Citations - note Walker was one of only two officers in 1/1st Cambs Rgt to receive MC & 2 Bars, the other was Lt A/Capt) Charles Harold Hollis.

MC citation for St Julien, 31-7-17 : "In an action he commanded his company when the company commander had been wounded, and led a most successful counter attack which saved the flank of a neighbouring battalion and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. He also rallied and took command of men of another unit, and when runners had failed to get through, he went under a heavy enemy barrage to the brigade forward station to report the situation. He set a splendid example of leadership and determination."

Citation for bar for Tower Hamlets Ridge 26-9-17 : "He was the senior officer in the first line captured by his battalion and formed a defensive flank when his left became exposed and the companies were somewhat disorganised. By his splendid example he kept up the spirits of his men and organised the defence of the position with great skill."

2nd bar citation for August 25, 1918: "For conspicuous gallantry and initiative near Mametz on August 25th, 1918. The battalion had to attack over 2,000 yards to reach its objective. On crossing a ridge all companies came under extremely heavy artillery and machine gun fire, and the centre of the attack lost direction. He immediately went forwards on his own initiative, rallied and reorganised the centre of the attack, and led them forward. The flanks of the attack had meanwhile become hung up by machine gun nests, but the rapid advance of his force proved the turning point of the attack and the whole line was enabled to resume the advance and consolidate. On arrival at the objective, he led a bombing party and drove the enemy out of a communications trench. Throughout the operation he showed marked courage and initiative."

On 10th April 1920 Edmund married my great aunt Ethel Mary Clark at St James the Great Parish Church at Winscombe in Somerset. They had met when Ethel was a teacher at Saffron Walden School where Edmund's father was headmaster. I don't know why they married in the C of E as both families were Quakers - perhaps because of Edmund's war service? My other great-aunt (Ethel's sister) said there was an embarrassing moment at the wedding as many of the guests were male Quakers and none of them seemed to know they should remove their hats when they entered the church and had to be asked to do so by the verger!

Edmund Walker

Edmund and Ethel -10th April 1920


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