CWG: Rifleman Walter Crook

Rifleman Walter Crook

Walter George Crook was born in 1900, one of thirteen children to William – a gardener – and Elizabeth Crook from Shepton Mallet in Somerset.

When he left school, Walter worked as a printer for the town’s newspaper and, by the time of the 1911 census, he was living with his family in a six-roomed house in the middle of the town.

Walter moved on from the Shepton Mallet Journal, and found employment at the Hare and Hounds Hotel in the town. War was coming, however, and he enlisted in the 22nd (Wessex and Welsh) Battalion of the Rifle Brigade.

Rifleman Crook was stationed with his battalion in Salonica, Greece, and it was while he was here that he suffered a cerebral tumour. He was invalided home, and treated in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Netley, Hampshire. Sadly, he lost his fight, passing away on 30th October 1916, aged just 27 years old.

Walter George Crook lies at rest in the cemetery of his home town of Shepton Mallet.

Walter’s brother Gordon is also buried in Shepton Mallet Cemetery – read his story here.

A third brother, Bertie, was also gave his life in the Great War. The local newspaper had given a touching report on his death in April 1916.

Bertie Crook left school at the age of 13, and went into service with Mrs Dickinson at Whitstone, as a stable lad. He was there a year and then, on account of Mrs Dickinson giving up horses and leaving the town, they recommended him to Lord Derby’s stables at Newmarket, under the Hon. G Lambton. Small as he was, Bertie Crook undertook the railway journey alone, with a label in his buttonhole. He served five years apprenticeship, which expired at the beginning of October [1915]. He then tried to join the Royal Field Artillery, but not being tall enough he joined a West country regiment on the 20th October, and left Tidworth Barracks for France in the early part of January. He was in his 21st year, having been born on the 29th July. 1895.

The Hon. George Lambton writes “I was terribly shocked and grieved to hear of the death of your boy… Mrs Lambton and I send our deepest sympathy… I always liked your boy so much when he was in my stable; and I felt sure that with his quiet and courageous character he would make a good soldier. I shall have a plate put up in the stable in memento of his glorious death.”

Shepton Mallet Journal: Friday 21st April 1916

Lance Corporal Bertram Stanley Crook is buried at the 13th London Graveyard in Lavantie, France.

One thought on “CWG: Rifleman Walter Crook”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s