James Walker, Private 5226, “D” Sqdn, 11th (Prince Albert’s Own) Hussars
Killed in action 19th October 1914 in Belgium, aged 32
James Walker was born in Macclesfield in 1882, the son of Thomas and Hannah Walker, of Bank Street, Macclesfield.
In 1901 the family were living at 4, Court 1, Knight Street, and James was working as a cotton spinner. James married Bertha Swaine in 1906 and the 1911 census records the couple living at 10 Blakelow Road; James was employed as a bread delivery man and Bertha was working in the silk industry. Bertha later lived at 21 London Rd, Macclesfield.
James enlisted at Macclesfield and was drafted to France on 8 October 1914. It is likely that he served in the Army prior to the war; however his service records have not survived. ‘Soldiers Died in the Great War’ records that he enlisted at Manchester. The 13th Hussars were in India and did not arrive at the Western Front until December 1914, so James must have been attached to another unit on his arrival in France. His medal index card shows that he was serving with the 13th Hussars but other records indicate that he served with the 11th Hussars, attached to the 2nd Life Guards.
Private Walker was killed in action on the 19th October 1914. His widow placed an ‘In Memoriam’ notice in the Macclesfield Times on 22 October 1915, one year after his death:
WALKER – In loving memory of my dear husband, Trooper James Walker, 11th Hussars, who was killed in action somewhere in France, on October 19th, 1914.
I little thought when I said good-bye
We parted for ever, and you were to die.
Oh, the grief that I feel, words cannot tell,
For I could not be with you to bid you farewell.
From his loving wife.
Private James Walker is buried in Grave Ref VI.D.18 at Dadizeele New British Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private James Walker, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
The floral tributes laid when the Macclesfield Park Green War Memorial was unveiled on 21st September 1921 included one with the words “In loving memory of my husband, Trooper James Walker, from his loving wife.”