Personal information about Harold Mayes Walker

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Burial Information

Name on burial register:
   Harold Mayes Walker
Burial register image
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Age at death:
Date of burial:
   16 September 1935
Abode at death:
(according to burial register)
   113 Andover Road, Newbury
Burial register information:
Book number: 1917
Page number: 190
Record number: 11114
Official at burial:
   Roy P. Beckingham
Source of information:
  Burial Register

Memorial Details

  Harold Mayes Walker
  12 September 1935
  Open book sculpture on 4 kerbstones
  Limestone with inlaid letters
  From top of LH page of book: Harold Mayes/ beloved husband of/ Mabel Walker/ born July 15th 1880/ died Sept. 12th 1935/From top of RH page: "Happy Memories"./ "His life an open book".
  Fair, some weathering
  01 September 2014
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Obituaries and Newspaper announcements

Harold Mayes Walker
Article source:    Newbury Weekly News
Date of source:    19 September 1935
Copyright:    © Newbury Weekly News








Newbury lost one of the best-known townsmen by the death of Mr. Harold Walker, of 113 Andover-road, which occurred on Thursday morning in particularly sad circumstances.

Mr. Walker, who was 55 years of age, had been in ill-health for some months, and, a man who never spared himself in his work, the fact that he was losing all his energy considerably depressed him. Yet he always appeared so cheerful that the news of his death came as a big shock to his many friends. When he went to bed on Wednesday night, he seemed to be in his usual good spirits. About 7.30 the next morning he was found lying dead on the floor of his work room with the end of a tube leading from a gas-fire near him. A doctor who was called certified that death was due to coal-gas poisoning.

Harold Walker's passing leaves a gap which will be very hard to fill. An upholsterer by trade he was not only an exceptionally skilled workman, but was remarkable for his assiduity, and it was nothing unusual for him to start at 7 o'clock in the morning and continue until very late. It could be truly said of him that he loved his craft for its own sake. Yet in spite of the extent of his personal affairs, it was typical of him that he could still find time to lend a hand at a public or social event. On these occasions, his energy and ready helpfulness made him a popular figure, for the outstanding features of his character were perhaps his alertness and obliging nature. You only had to ask Mr. Walter to be at a certain place at a certain time, and you could rely on the job being done to everybody's satisfaction. He will be greatly missed at dances, at concerts and particularly during the Newbury Operatic Week, at which he assisted with the scenery and decorations.

But particularly will he be missed by members of St John's Church, where he was an enthusiastic worker. He had been a sides man for some thirty years, and about two years ago he was appointed people's warden. Only last week he attended the Newbury Deanery Conference. A keen gardener, he was on the committee of the Newbury Gardener's Association, and his exhibits at the annual Chrysanthemum Show testified to his skill as an amateur horticulturist. He was also one of the oldest members in Newbury of the Tunbridge Wells Equitable Friendly Society.

Mr. Walker is chiefly remembered as a member of the old Newbury Volunteer Company of the Royal Berks, and when only twenty years of age he volunteered for service at the outbreak of the Boer War. He sometimes related how on one occasion he was taken prisoner by the Boers. His unit was set to guard a railway, and at day-break the sentry reported that a body of mounted men was approaching over a range of hills. The officer, thinking it was British Cavalry come to relieve them, paid no attention, and the unit was surrounded and taken prisoner. They did not remain in captivity very long however, for an armoured car came up and routed the Boers, though not before the British had been stripped of all their possessions. It was a painful blow to Mr. Walker when he learned that his brother, Tom, with whom he was serving, had been killed in action.


Mr. Walker served throughout the Boer War, and on returning home he continued his interest in the Newbury Volunteers, in which he served as a sergeant, He was in possession of the Territorial Long Service Medal. During the Great War he acted as a sergeant-instructor. He was a good soldier and a loyal friend. Mr. Walker was born at Holbeach, Lincolnshire, coming to Newbury at an early age. He leaves a widow and two daughters.


An inquest on Mr. Walker was held on Friday, when the Coroner, Mr. S.V. Pinniger, recorded a verdict of suicide by coal-gas poisoning while of unsound mind. The widow stated that her husband had no real cause for worry.




The funeral which took place at St John's Church, was attended by several members of the South African War Veterans' Association, the Newbury Gardeners' Association, and other societies to which Mr. Walker belonged. A requiem mass was said in the morning, and there was a service the previous night when the body was brought to the church. The service was conducted by the vicar the Rev, Rev. E.H. Stenning, assisted by the Rev. R.P. Beckingham. The organist Mr. A.H. Drury, played “O rest in the Lord” (Mendelssohn) and Handel's Dead March in Saul. The mourners were Mrs. Walker (widow), Mr. and Mrs. C. Barnacott (daughter and son-in-law), Miss M. Walker (daughter), Mr. and Mrs. F. Walker (Brother and sister-in-law), Mrs. J. Mills (sister-in-law), Mr. L. Meadows (brother-in-law), Mr. F. O’Brien (representing Mr. J. Walker (brother), Mr. John Parkins (friend).


There follows a long list of those attending and of the floral tributes.


Newbury Weekly News 19 September 1935


Mrs. P. p. 191 C87

“beloved husband of Mabel Walker” born 15 July 1880 died 12 September 1935

Buried 16 September 1935 Bk. 1917 p. 190 no. 11114

Address 113 Andover-road.



Mr. Harold Walker's death recalls his long association with the Old Volunteers. He and two friends, Mr. H. Bannister and Mr. H. G. Cox, attended the last Aldershot Tattoo. Talking over old times, they reckoned up the number of years' service they had put together for the Volunteers and discovered that the total was between 60 and 70.

Newbury Weekly News 19 September 1935

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