Walter Evelyn Lee was born in Idle on 23 December 1889, the son of Hiram Lee and his wife Hannah, nee Skirrow.In 1901 the family were living at Thorpe Garth and at the time of the 1911 census, Walter was visiting the Hodgson family at Stanningley. He is given as a student.The first we hear of Walter’s war is in a report of his mother’s funeral published on 10 September 1915. Having recently joined the army, he was unable to attend.On 10 December 1915, the Shipley Times & Express reported:“Cpl Walter Evelyn Lee, elder son of Mr Hiram Lee of 16 Regent Street, Thackley has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.“The official account of Cpl Lee’s action reads as follows:“For conspicuous gallantry on October 13th. After a gas attack, whilst he was standing in the trench with Cpl Midgley, the latter, with great bravery went over the parapet to bring in a wounded Highlander but was hit in the thigh by a piece of shell.“Cpl Lee without any hesitation and regardless of all personal danger, immediately went out and
brought the wounded man to safety. Both the NCOs gave a fine exhibition of devotion to duty.“Cpl Lee joined the Liverpool Pals in August of last year and being a chemist, afterwards transferred to the Royal Engineers. He went to France early in September.“He was educated at the Idle National Schools, at the time when Mr Irwin Hodgson (now of Stanningley) was headmaster.“Subsequently he attended the Bradford Grammar School for six years and afterwards studied for three years at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he took his B.A. degree.“Previous to the outbreak of war he was employed as chemist by Lever Bros of Port Sunlight. Formerly he was an energetic worker in connection with Idle Parish Church Sunday Schools and was also a member of the choir.“In respect of the same incident in which Cpl Lee secured the DCM a
similar distinction was earned by Cpl (John) G Midgley, (link below) whose mother is Mrs Sam Midgley, nee Miss Henrietta Tomlinson, formerly of Idle.”On 20 July 1917, the newspaper gave a detailed report of Walter’s wedding which had taken place two days before:“A quiet but pretty wedding took place on Wednesday morning at the Parish Church, Baildon, between Miss Eileen Walbank, only daughter of Mr and Mrs H Walbank of Beechmore, Shipley Glen, and Mr Walter Lee, elder son of Mr Hiram Lee and the late Mrs Lee of Thackley.“The ceremony was performed by the vicar, the Rev A E Sidebotham. “The bridegroom has seen service at the front and is now engaged on special work in England.“The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a charming white-embroidered voile dress and large hart and carried a sheath of lilies.
“The bridesmaid, Miss Dorothy Cannan, friend of the bride, wore a Shantung coat frock and carried a bouquet of pink carnations. Mr Sidney Wilson, friend of the bridegroom, acted as best man. “The bridegroom’s gift to the bride was a gold expanding bracelet watch and the bride’s gift to the bridegroom was a gold wristlet watch.“The bridegroom gave the bridesmaid a silver photo frame with photo and the bride’s father’s present to the bride was a cheque. The happy pair were the recipients of many handsome presents.“Mr and Mrs Walbank held a reception after the ceremony at their residence shortly after which the happy pair left for St Annes, where the honeymoon is to be spent.”From the Ancestry website we learn that Walter and Eileen had two children, Kenneth and Margaret.In 1939 they were living at 7 Westfield, Brighouse, and Walter was described as a manager of a textile dying and finishing company. He died in Halifax in September 1969