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The sons of James G. and Hannah Burton, Walter was born in Shrewsbury on 18 January 1881, and Ernest was born in Wolverhampton in 1884. They were living at 5 Corn Hill, Wolverhampton, by 1901, along with Walter’s siblings Ernest H., Ethel M., Mabel, Elsie E., and Gladys M. Walter was working as a railway clerk, and Ernest as a railway attendant.

On 13 January 1896, Walter became an apprentice with the London and North Western Railway. Walter married Rose Winifred Wall in Wolverhampton in 1905. They were living at 51 Oak Street, Wolverhampton, by 1911, with three children, Muriel May, Ernest William and Walter J. Walter continued to work as a railway clerk for the London and North Western Railway. Walter does not have appeared to have done any military service during the First World War. However, he did work as a Sergeant for the British Red Cross from 19 November 1914 until 10 May 1915 in various capacities:

  • Number 5 British Red Cross Society Hospital in Wimereux, Boulogne, France
  • Transport work from the Railway station to the General Hospital, Wolverhampton
  • Orderly duty at the above hospital
  • Air raid duty at Bilston Road Air Raid station
  • Orderly duty at British Red Cross drives, concerts etc
  • Assisting in instruction of 13 First Aid and 5 Home Nursing classes.

He was awarded the 1914 Star. Walter died on 18 June 1966 at 25 McLean Road, Oxley, Wolverhampton, by which date his address was 32 Dunkley Street, Wolverhampton. The value of his effects was £2696.

On 1 July 1901, Ernest attested with the Worcestershire Regiment (number 6416), and he was released on 30 Jun 1910 at the end of his period of engagement. By 1911, Ernest was a boarder in Durham, working as a prison official. He married Lily Smith in Durham in 1913. He rejoined the 2nd Battalion on the outbreak of war, becoming a Lance Corporal, but was killed in action near Ypres on 31 October 1914. Unfortunately, initial reports were that he had been wounded and missing, and his service records contain numerous letters from his widow, his sister and his parents asking for further news, before his death was confirmed. From 15 November 1915 onwards, his widow was awarded a pension of 10s. a week. He is remembered at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial