Oldham Historical Research Group

'What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
- Only the monstrous anger of the guns.'
from 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' by Wilfred Owen

1914 - 1918


WW1 letter- card

Letter written by Walter Wade, from France, 13th January 1918.
Written to Mrs. Goodyear, of Oldham Road, Failsworth. The 'Asa'. reffered to is Asa Holgate Crabtree, her nephew.
Walter is included in 'Failsworth Wesleyan Church & School Roll of Honour' :
made by Elizabeth Jane Goodyear of 'Failsworth View', 581 Oldham Road

MIlitary Medal

Walter Gilliham Tankerville Wade, Bombardier, 24808, in the Royal Field Artillery,
was awarded the Military Medal in 1918.

It was instituted in March 1916 for:
"acts of gallantry and devotion to duty performed by non-commissioned officers and men of our army in the field"

A little bit of Walter's story, as gleaned from his Military Service Record and census returns.

Walter's grandfather was Albert Wade, born in Hoxton in Middlesex, early 1840
.In early 1861 Albert married Hannah Gilham (sic) who was born in Norfolk,
In 1861 they lived in Kenninghall, Norfolk, where Albert was a rural postman.
Their son, Charles E. was born in Kenninghall in 1861

Charles Edwin Wade married Mary J. Walker (born in Withington, Manchester), in early 1885 ( registered in Chorlton)
In 1891 Charles Edwin was a Timekeeper in a Cotton Mill. in Bolton.
With him was his wife Mary J., and 3 children, Walter G.T., Lenore B., and Mignon A.H.

Walter, himself, was born in Harpurhey, Manchester, in early 1886. (ref 1891 census)
In 1907, at the Wesleyan Chapel in Bolton, he married Annie Adamson.
On the 1911 census he is recorded with his wife, Annie, and their two sons, Wilfred age 2 and Herbert Carlton age 8 months.
Walter was a 'quilt weaver, in cotton'.

By 1915 Walter and his family were living at 29 Stephenson Street, Failsworth.
He volunteered for the armed forces in June 1915, at St. Annes on Sea, Lancashire.
According to his record he was age 29 years and 3 months, a clerk and was 5ft. 8 inches tall.
He was posted as a gunner in the RFA.
In October 1915 he became an acting (?) bombardier.
On the 28th November 1915 he was posted to France.
On November 20th, 1916 he was promoted to Bombardier.
He was awarded the Military Medal.
The medal was formally presented to him in March 1918, in Failsworth.
At some point he had suffered an injury, to his knee which left him with a disability and, presumably, unfit for active service as, in Octbber 1918,
he was posted to a POW Reception Camp (in Ripon?).
In late autumn 1918, his wife Annie became a victim of the Influenza epidemic and died on the 5th.November.
Walter is recorded on the death certificate as the informant.
Walter was 'transferred' in March 1919, with a weekly disability pension of 6/- and an additional allowance of 2s/4d for his 2 children.
He returned to his home in Stephenson Street, Failsworth.
In 1919 he married Gertrude Pearl from Bolton.
He died in 1955, aged 69.

Do you have a photograph of him that we can include?

Contributed by : Martin Goodyear
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