People on board
WALKER, William Arthur
William Arthur Walker was born in 1882 in Tipton, near the town of Dudley, north west of Birmingham to Joseph Walker and Jane Bellingham. He was one of the younger of at least ten children. In the 1881 census Joseph was a ‘Pudler’ as was his eldest son, a physically very demanding job in the iron industry. By 1891 the family had moved from Tipton to Edgbaston in Birmingham and Joseph gave his occupation as ‘General Labourer’. The family has not been located in the 1901 census and both parents may have died by that stage (they are described as ‘late’ in 1918).
William Walker married Ellen (Helen) Charlotte Owens in Birmingham in 1906 and they had three children, Doris 1906, Arthur 1907 and Lillian 1909. The two older children were born in the village of Ombersley, near Worcester, where Ellen’s family lived but William and Ellen had moved to Abergavenny in Monmouthshire before Lillian was born. In the 1911 census William gave his occupation as ‘Groom Domestic’.
William enlisted in 1914 at Abertillery, first in the South Wales Borderers, Number 21065 and was wounded in September 1917. He then transferred to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and was stationed with the 3rd Garrison Battalion in Limerick. He was returning to Wales on leave when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918. Twenty-one members of the R.W.F. were on board and fourteen lost their lives, including William Walker. His body was not recovered but his name is remembered on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton and on the Birmingham Hall of Memory.
His widow and children returned to Birmingham after his death.