Two men with a local connection died on 30th May 1918. Captain Adie Wale, 186th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, died after the hospital in which he was being treated for wounds was bombed by the Germans on the night of 29th/30th May. Private Henry Walker, 8th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment died of wounds on the same day.
Adie Wale was born in 1893 and was the only son of parents William Henry (a bedstead manufacturer) and Emily Mary (née Adie) who had married at St Mary’s Church, Birmingham in 1889. The couple set up home in “Hazeldene”, New Road, Solihull before moving to Chessetts Wood sometime between 1891-1893. The family then moved to The Uplands, Hockley Heath sometime between 1901-1911 before moving to the Pound House, Lapworth.
At the time of the 1911 census, 17-year-old Adie wasn’t living at the family home but was recorded as a boarder at Uppingham School, Rutland. Information from a booklet about Lapworth’s First World War casualties, Lest We Forget by Peter A J Hill, indicates that Adie left Uppingham in the Michaelmas Term, 1912, before going onto New College, Oxford. He passed his law prelims in 1913 but gave up studying for his finals when war broke out.
He enlisted on 14th August 1914, joining the ranks before being commissioned Temporary Second Lieutenant in October 1914. He was continually at the Front from September 1915 until his death.
He was injured in March 1918 during heavy fighting and was taken to No. 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital in Doullens, situated inside the Citadel. Three nurses and 29 patients/other hospital personnel, including Adie Wale, were killed when the hospital was bombed on the night of 29th/30th May.
Captain Adie Wale is buried at Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt and is commemorated on Lapworth War Memorial. There is also an individual plaque in his memory in the war memorial chapel at Lapworth, and his parents also commissioned a memorial window by Richard John Stubbington.
Adie had two sisters who both became titled Ladies through marriage – Aileen (1890-1973), who married civil engineer and pioneer aviator, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Francis Kennedy McLean (1876-1955), and Joyce (1900-1987) who married chartered accountant, Sir Harold Montague Barton (1882-1962). Their son, John Bernard Adie Barton (1928-2018) co-founded the Royal Shakespeare Company with Peter Hall.
Henry Walker, known as Harry, was born in Birmingham in 1892 and was the only child of parents Henry (a bricklayer’s labourer) and Ellen Louisa.
The family had moved to Shirley by 1901, when they were living at Stratford Road. They had moved to Church Road, Shirley by 1911, when 19-year-old Henry (junior) was working as a butcher’s salesman.
On 24th May 1915, Henry Walker married Clara Elizabeth Sparks at Christ Church, Yardley Wood and they set up home in Hall Green. Their only child, Harry Leslie Walker, was born on 25th March 1916, just under nine months before his father joined the Army.
Henry was called up for service on 14th December 1916, and was posted to France on 26th April 1917. He died of wounds on 30th May 1918 but, having no known grave, is commemorated on the Soissons Memorial. He is also commemorated locally on Shirley war memorial.
His son, Harry Leslie Walker, seems to have become a school teacher and to served in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War.
If you have any further information, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6977