An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten

Frederick Clarkson WALKER

Lieutenant, 2/5th Battalion,
The King’s (Liverpool Regiment).

Born 7 December 1890,
Died 20 September 1917, aged 26 years.

Commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke,
West-Vlaanderen, Belgium,
Panel 31 to 34 and 162A and 163A.

Died during the Battle of Passchendaele (The Third Battle of Ypres). His name and that of his fellow Coatham Schoolmaster J.L. Derrick (q.v.) are among almost 35,000 names inscribed on this memorial, being names of those Commonwealth servicemen who died in this sector of the Front during the First World War and who have no known grave.

Frederick Clarkson Walker, along with J.L. Derrick, both of them aged 23, joined the staff of Coatham Grammar School in December 1913. He was the son of James C. Walker and Sarah Ann Walker of 749, Bury Road, Bolton. His father was a telegraphist at Manchester Victoria Station. There were four children in the family, Margaret, Richard, Alice and the youngest, Frederick. He attended the Church Institute School, Bolton, from 1902 to 1909 and was the first pupil from there to progress to university, winning a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he graduated B.A in Mathematics and Physics in 1913. At Coatham he taught Mathematics to all classes and Physics to senior boys. His first salary at Coatham was £100 a year with a residence allowance of £45. He taught for five terms before volunteering for war service in August 1915. It is not known when he went to the Western Front and, although it is known he was buried near where he fell, the grave was lost in the chaos of the front line, and has ever since been unmarked. A letter from his commanding officer commented that “Fred was noted for his good humour, friendship and bravery, and his loss was deeply mourned by his fellow officers and his family”. His old school in Bolton is now called Canon Slade School and has a permanent memorial to him.