Private Walter Castle
Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.
Walter Castle was born about 1866 in Reigate to Jane Castle and James Castle, a labourer.
Walter had a fresh complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. He was a member of the Church of England. He had a scar on left thumb and on back of right hand. His height was 5 feet and 4 inches.
During the 1881 Census, the nineteen years old Walter was a boarder to William and Louisa Brooker at Black Horse Yard in Dorking. Also in the house were his future wife Ellen Brooker, her siblings Rebecca and Charles and another lodger. Walter was working as a carter.
Walter enlisted on the 1st of June 1883 at Guildford. At the time of enlistment he was working as a labourer. Walter stated that he previously served in the 3rd Battalion the Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment. In 1883 he became part of the 2nd Battalion the Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment. He was a private.
From the 1st of June 1883 to the 2nd of September 1883 he served at home. From the 3rd of September 1883 to the 3rd October 1886 Walter served in India.
On the 30th of May 1884 Walter obtained a Fourth Class Certificate of Education. This was lowest educational certificate which involved simple reading and the ability to complete a few easy sums at purportedly the level of an 8 year old.
He then took part in the 3rd Burma War from the 4th of October 1886 to the 9th of June 1888. He was awarded the India Medal with Burma Clasps 1885-1887 and Burma Clasps 1887-1889.
From the 10th of June 1888 to the 10th of February 1891 Walter served in East India and from the 11th of February 1891 to the 31st of May 1895 again at home. He was in the Army for 12 years.
While at home Walter was during the 1891 Census still lodging with his future wife Ellen’s parents William and Louisa Brooker at No. 2 Black Horse Yard in Dorking and was working as a general labourer.
On the 25th of December 1891 Walter married after banns Ellen Brooker at St Paul’s in Dorking. At the time of their marriage Walter still lived at Black Horse Yard and he worked as a labourer. Ellen lived at 60 Orchard Road and was working as a domestic servant.
Ellen was born in 1867 and baptised on the 9th of June 1867 at St John in Capel.
By the time of their marriage Walter’s father James was dead.
At the time of the 1901 Census the family lived at 11 Chalk Pit Cottages in Dorking. Walter was working as a lime plaster and Ellen was taking care of their children Lily Ethel and Walter Charles. Lily Ethel was born on the 30th of July 1892 and baptised on the 18th of November 1892 at St Martin’s in Dorking. Walter Charles was born in the 3rd quarter of 1896 in Dorking.
At the time of the 1911 Census the family moved to 2 Jubilee Terrace in Dorking. Walter was working as a coal porter, his daughter Lily Ellen as a domestic servant and son Walter Charles as a telegraph messenger. In the 3rd quarter of 1903 Sidney George Castle was born in Dorking, the couple’s last child. The house had 5 rooms and two boarders: a labourer and a postman.
When the Great War broke Walter enrolled again, on the 6th of November 1914 at Dorking at the age of 48. At the time he lived with his family at 2 Jubilee Terrace in Dorking. He became part of the 7th Railway Company, 5th Reserve Battalion, the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment. His regimental number was 3776. In 1915 he was transferred into the 1st Supernumerary Company of the 2/5th Battalion, the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment. His regimental number was 20268. He was a private. The family moved to 1 Jubilee Terrace in Dorking.
On the 3rd of December 1915 Walter was discharged from the Army being found medically unfit for further service at 335 Harrow Road NW. Medical board stated that his condition was not a result of military service, being of unknown origin and was permanent. He was in the Territorial Force for 1 year and 28 days during which time he was serving at home.
Walter died little over a month later on the 10th of January 1916 at Guildford District and he was buried on the 14th of January 1916 at Dorking Municipal Cemetery. His grave reference number is 13. 8526. He was 50 years old.
Husband of Ellen Castle of 1, Jubilee Terrace, Dorking
Regiment Royal Defence Corps. Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey)
Date of Death 10th January 1916
Place of Death Dorking
Cemetery Dorking Cemetery
All photographs © Royston Williamson 2015