Walter Albert Shotton was born in King’s Norton in 1895, the son of George and Sarah Shotton. By 1901, the family were at 186 Bilston Road, Wolverhampton, and the household consisted of Walter, his parents, brothers Bernard, Frank and Geoffrey, and sisters Dorothy and Eleanor Annie.
Walter enlisted with the 1st/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment and became a Serjeant (number 2466). Unfortunately he was killed on 1 July 1916, but his bravery was praised by a Lieutenant A. C. Finnis in a letter to Walter’s mother, now at 5 Regis Road, Tettenhall. This was reported in the Express & Star on 21 August 1916, stating that he displayed “an extraordinary example of courage…whilst leading his platoon into action.” It was only after he was hit a third time “that he had to give up the unequal contest” and even then his thoughts were with the cause rather than himself, ordering his men to “Carry on, boys; never mind me.” Lieutenant Finnis goes on to say that “He may get no recognition, but those of us who know will ever remember he died a hero for his country’s good.” Walter is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.