Lance-Serjeant, Thomas Alfred Walters, 1944289, 690 Artisan Works Company, Royal Engineers
Thomas Alfred Walters was born on the 9th August 1914, the eldest child of Pontefract born cabinet maker, Harry Cawthorne Walters and Ackworth born, Hannah Howitt, who married at Ackworth, St. Cuthbert’s, Parish Church on the 19th April 1913. In 1939, Thomas Alfred was working as a joiner and living with his parents, his sister Dorothy (born 1916) and three brothers: Fred (1921), Harry (1922) and Ronald (1924) at 30, Newgate, Pontefract. Their father Harry Walters, born 1886, was a foreman for a cabinet maker and undertaker.
Later in 1939, at South Ossett Parish Church, on the 18th November 1939, Thomas Alfred Walters, of 30 Newgate, Pontefract, married Dorothy Wilson of 49, Baptist Lane, Ossett. Bride and groom were both aged 25 years and Thomas was working as a joiner and Dorothy as a textile worker.
It cannot be said with any certainty that the couple had children, but daughters Christine and Dianne Walters were born in Spring 1940 and 1943 respectively. Each had a mother whose maiden name was Wilson and both births were registered in the Spen Valley district, which at that time was the registration office for Ossett. In Spring 1946 a Dorothy Walters married Roger W. Birch, with the marriage being registered in the Spen Valley district.
Royal Engineers Artisan Works Companies were made up of skilled men from a variety of trades and were used for a wide range of work and as a type of general labour pool used for large scale construction works as distinct from combat engineers.
The U.K. Army Roll of Honour 1939-1945 records that Lance-Sergeant Thomas A Walters, 30 years, service number 1944289, Royal Engineers died on the 18th October 1944. He is buried at Boulogne Eastern Cemetery in Plot 11, Row C, Grave 7.
During the Second World War, military hospitals were again located at Boulogne for a short time in May 1940. The town was taken by the Germans at the end of that month and remained in their hands until recaptured by the Canadians on the 22nd September 1944. Boulogne Eastern Cemetery contains 5,577 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and 224 from the Second World War.