Published By Joan Zorn
Walter William Poole was born on 13 June 1877 at Hadley, Wellington, Shropshire. His parents were William and Mary (nee Manning). He was their fourth child with elder siblings Mary (1870), Thomas (1873) and younger siblings Frederick (1878) and Beatrice (1881). Their father worked an iron puddler. They lived at 32 Trench Road, Hadley. Walter studied to become a teacher and went to work as an assistant schoolteacher at Hadley Boys Council School. In 1899 he seems to have had a relationship with Edith Weaver, also a teacher at the school. They would have a baby boy, George, born in November. They did not marry and Walter is not recorded as father on the birth certificate. Edith would later marry, with George being adopted. In 1906, Walter’s father died and 2 years later in March, Walter married Alice May Rowley at Wesleyan Methodist Chapel Admaston, Wellington. They had a child, Elizabeth, born in 1908 but who died after only 3 days. In 1908 Walter left Hadley School and took a teaching appointment at the National School in Oswestry (Welsh Walls). He and Alice lived at 4 Denmark Place, Albert Road. Here they had a second child, Walter, born in March 1909.
Walter enlisted on 18 February 1915 joining 7 Bn KSLI… It is not known when he went over to France but he was wounded and gassed on the Somme. He was returned to England and spent 12 months in Hospital at Manchester. On his return he was posted to 3 Bn KSLI, training and reserve – on CWGC he is recorded as 4 Bn KSLI. It is not known if he returned to the front but it is unlikely. He was discharged on 13 April 1918 under KR, given an army pension and returned to his teaching job at the National School. Walter died on 2 December 1918 at 8 Gatacre Place, Brynhafod Road, Oswestry as a result of his wounds. The cause of death was given as Bright Disease and heart failure, both attributable to his wounds. He was buried in Oswestry Cemetery on 4 December. He had a military funeral, with an honour party of soldiers from Park Hall Camp, 2 rifle volleys were fired over his grave. Mourners included his wife and child, his brothers and family as well as staff and pupils from Hadley and Oswestry schools. The service St Oswald’s Church was conducted by Reverend RC Herring (curate). He is also commemorated on the war memorial at St Oswald’s.
Barometer given to Walter in 1908 when he left Hadley school to teach in Oswestry.
Corporal 17414 Walter W. Poole, 4 Bn KSLI. 2 December 1918, Oswestry Cemetery. (JRD)
Corporal 17414 Walter W. Poole, 4 Bn KSLI. Brish War Medal and Victory Medal. (JRD)
Acknowledgements. Photographs by kind permission of Elizabeth Travis (great granddaughter)