Walter Slater, Private 282332, 1st/8th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers
Died of wounds 16th October 1918 in France, aged 26
Walter Slater was born in Macclesfield and baptised on 5 June 1892 at St Paul’s Church, Macclesfield, the son of Mary and Walter Slater, a silk warehouseman of 6 Pearson Street, Macclesfield.
By 1901, the family had moved to 44 Bond Street, Macclesfield, and eight-year-old Walter was living there with his parents and siblings Joseph (17), Elizabeth (13), and Noah (3). Ten years later in 1911 the census showed that the family had moved again, this time to 43 Roe Street, Macclesfield, and Walter, by then aged 18, was employed as a slipper maker.
Walter’s mother Mary died in 1914.
Private Walter Slater was drafted to France in 1916. He was repatriated to England after being gassed, spending time at home in Macclesfield during his convalescence. After his recovery he returned to France.
The circumstances of Private Slater’s death are not known, but he died of his wounds on 16 October 1918. His death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 1 November 1918:
PTE WALTER SLATER, Lancs Fus, who died on Oct 16 from wounds sustained in action in France, was the son of Mr Slater, 43 Roe Street, Macclesfield. Pte Slater was 26 years of age, and had served in France just over two years. Some time ago he was gassed and spent a sick leave at his home. He was educated at Lord Street School and attended the Macclesfield Sunday School. Prior to enlistment he was employed by the Macclesfield Shoe and Slipper Co.
Private Walter Slater is buried at Rocquigny-Equancourt British Cemetery, in grave ref. XIV. D. 10. His father asked for the inscription “UNTIL THE DAY DAWNS” to be added to his headstone.
In Macclesfield, Private Walter Slater is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church, Mill Street Mission and Macclesfield Sunday School war memorials. Walter is also remembered on a family gravestone in Macclesfield Cemetery, plot X.19134.
The floral tributes laid when the Macclesfield Park Green War Memorial was unveiled on 21 September 1921 included one with the words “In loving memory of Private Walter Slater, from Maggie.” Private Slater may also be the W Slater named in the tribute “From the Spiritualist Free Church, Cumberland Street, in memory of E. Bailey, A. Birch, A. Cresswell, A. Goodwin, A. Hurst, W. Slater, and T. Proctor.”
Brother of Noah Slater, who served as Private 60315 with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and survived the war.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers (FindMyPast): St Paul’s Church, Macclesfield
Soldiers Died in the Great War (Find My Past)
WWI British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects
Lives of the First World War website
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Times: 1 November 1918
Macclesfield Courier: 24 September 1921 (list of floral tributes)