Date of birth: 06.1893
Date of death: 13.04.1917
Regiment: King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Family information: Son of Albert and Sarah Ann Morrell nee Wray
Rank: Lance Corporal
Service number: 11416
With the outbreak of The Great War, Walter will have answered Lord Kitchener’s call to arms and joined the patriotic rush to join up, becoming a soldier in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, signing up in Doncaster, in the early autumn of 1914. A year later, in May 1915, Walter would have arrived in France with the rest of his Battalion of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
During his time in Flanders, Walter was transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He was also made up to Lance Corporal but was also severely injured and was withdrawn from the front. After making a sufficient recovery he returned to the front, to continue in his post.
The attack on the Hindenburg Line occurred on 9th April 1917. It was Easter Monday and the weather conditions were appalling. It was bitterly cold, with a strong Westerly wind blowing. The ground was very wet and it was beginning to snow again. During that day there were many casualties, one of which was Lance Corporal Walter Morrell.
Extract from Pontefract & Castleford Express 27th April 1917
LANCE CORPORAL WALTER MORRELL KNOTTINGLEY
Information has reached Mr & Mrs A Morrell of England House Knottingley, of the death of their son L/Cpl Walter Morrell of the 9th Bn K.O.Y.L.I. He joined the army in August 1914 & went to the front in May 1915.
He was wounded the following August very seriously. Eventually he returned to the front & was killed in a charge on Easter Monday, April 9th 1917.
The sergeant of his company wrote to his parents of the sad occurrence, as also did a Knottingley lad in the same regiment. His death is a great blow to the family, as only two weeks back news of the Lance Corporal’s brother’s death (Pte Bertram Morrell of the Grenadier Guards) at battle was received.
Walter was part of the 21st Division and in April 1917 they were part of the Battle of Arras. On the first day the 21st were at the southern end of the line, which stretched as far as Vimy in the north where the Canadian forces attacked Vimy Ridge. He was a casualty of the first day of the battle.
He is buried at Cojeul British Cemetery, St Martin-sur-Cojeul.
Knottingley born Walter Morrell, the fourth son of Aire Street Grocer Albert Morrell & Sarah Ann Morrell (nee Wray), was born in June 1893. Walter followed in his father’s footsteps into the grocery trade and with his brother Bertram became Grocer’s assistants in the family shop on Aire Street.