Date of birth: 1894
Date of death: 13.10.1915
Regiment: Royal Field Artillery
Family information: Son of Mrs Mary Way of Bunker’s Hill, Wrenthorpe
Service number: 75107
In 1914 Walter enlisted and was serving as Gunner 75107 in the 115th Battery of the Royal Field Artillery when on 13th October 1915 he was killed in action as reported in the Wakefield Express:
“TWO WRENTHORPE SOLDIERS KILLED. Mrs Way, Bunker’s Hill Wrenthorpe has received information that her son Walter Way was killed in action in France on October 13th.The news was conveyed to her in a letter from Major Carrington who said “I was very sorry to lose him as he had always done his work well”. Way who was a single man and 21 years of age, enlisted 18 months ago and was a gunner in the 115th Battery of the Royal Field Artillery. Before joining up he worked as a miner at Newton Pit.”
Walter was awarded the 1914 Star, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal and his mother was named as sole legatee. He was buried in the Vermelles Communal Cemetery. He is commemorated on the memorial at St Anne’s Church but surprisingly not on the Colliery Memorial.
I believe Walter was born to Mary Way in about 1894 and I found a Walter Henry Way born in the Wakefield District in 1894 who was baptised at St Mary’s Church Wakefield on 3rd January 1894. In 1901 Walter was living in Potovens Lane, Wrenthorpe with his widowed mother who was a charwoman and said to have been born in Carlisle. Ten years later he was still living with her but now at 17 he was the breadwinner being a pony driver in the colliery. Their address was 1, Shillito’s Row, Bunker’s Hill.
Incidentally, in the 1891 Census Walter’s mother Mary, who had been widowed two years previously, was living in Fryer’s Yard, Wakefield with sons Frederick William aged 15 and who was a factory hand, Walter aged 12 ( a previous son of the same name) and daughter Alice Mary aged 17 who was a worsted spinner. Walter number one died in 1893, the year before Walter number two was born and her other son Frederick William enlisted with the army and served his time. Frederick married Mary Amelia Day in 1903 and in 1911 they lived in George Street, Wakefield with their children George (b 1904), Frederick (b 1906), Alfred (b 1908) and Thomas (b 1910). In 1913 Walter was born followed by Mary Alice in 1915 so in all they produced 6 children. In 1914 with the start of the war Frederick enlisted once again and sadly was killed on 30th September 1915 – a fortnight before Walter.