Corporal Walter William Timms, 1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment was killed in action on 29th September 1914. He is commemorated locally on the lychgate memorial at Temple Balsall and on the war memorial plaque in St Peter’s Church, Balsall Common.
His baptism at Berkswell is recorded in parish registers held at Warwickshire County Record Office, and on microfilm at Solihull Central Library, which are now also available on the Ancestry website (free of charge from computers in any Solihull Library). He was baptised on 27th July 1891, to parents Walter Tom (a labourer) and Helen Matilda. Their abode was listed as Balsall.
At the time of the 1901 census, the family was still in Balsall, living at Wootton Green, with Walter Tom listing his occupation as a shepherd. His widowed father, 69-year-old Walter Timms, was also living with the family. Walter Tom’s wife was recorded on the 1901 census as “Ellen M.” and their son, Walter William, was aged 10.
By 1911, Walter William had joined the Army and he is recorded on the 1911 census, aged 20, as a Private with the 1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, based at Bhurtpore Barracks, South Tedworth, Hampshire.
It looks as if Walter’s service record was one of those destroyed by bombing in the Second World War so little is known about his military service. Soldiers Died in the Great War gives his birthplace as Coventry (although census records give Berkswell), and says he enlisted in Coventry.
His medal index card on the Ancestry website gives his date of disembarkation as 12th August 1914, and the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment 1914-18 website gives further details about the Battalion’s movements. It seems that Walter was killed by artillery fire after two days in the trenches at Troyan, having also been previously under fire at Mons and the Battle of the Aisne. He was Mentioned in Despatches for his gallant and distinguished work in the field.
He is one of seven men from places in Solihull included in the 3739 names commemorated at the La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial to the missing.
In November 2022, his name was added to Berkswell War Memorial.
If you have any further information about Walter William Timms, or a photograph of him, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6934