Organisations/clubs: Undercliffe Wesleyans Sunday School
Rolls of Honour: Eccleshill, Park and St Luke’s; Tyne Cot Memorial
Regiment: Yorkshire Hussars
Walter Thornton was born in 1891 in Bradford the son of Isaac and Mary, nee Inman.In 1891 the family were living in Mint Street, Undercliffe. Two children had been born, Elizabeth and Walter. By 1901 two more children had been born, Sarah and Ethel. In 1911 Walter, at 20 years of age. was working as a joiner. He was an active worker at Undercliffe Wesleyan Sunday School.He enlisted in February 1915 as Private 24781 in the 2nd Battalion of the Yorkshire Hussars (Alexandra, Princess of Wales Own).
The Hussars were already fighting on the Western Front and after training he joined his battalion on the 1st July 1916. Before leaving for the Western Front he married Clara Annie Phillips who had been born in Canada in 1891. Her parents had emigrated to Canada after their marriage and then returned home in the 1890s. He gave his address as 22 Harrogate Road. Walter’s battalion was active in the first battle of the Somme which began on the 1st July 1916 and lasted until the 13th.
In October 1916 it was reported he had been wounded in the right leg and admitted to the Lord Derby hospital in Warrington. At the beginning of January 1918 he was treated for trench foot by the 98th Field Ambulance being transferred from the sick convey on the 1st January and returned to duty on the 18th. Walter was killed in action on the 8th of May 1918 although there was not a major engagement taking place so it is possible that he was killed by shell fire as he has no known grave. He was 27 years of age.He is remembered on the
Tyne Cot Memorial and on the family grave in Nab Wood CemeteryHe left his effects to his widow Clara who received £7.8.4d on the 7th August 1918 and a War Gratuity of £9.10.0d on the 26th November 1919.
Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom many thanks