Frederick was born in Deptford on 17th December 1891 and attended Ilford County High School. His parents were William and Rosina Walker and he had seven siblings. He lived at 237 Thorold Road, Ilford and his father worked as a clerk. His younger brother, Edward Percy, also attended the school.
Frederick left school to become a printer’s compositor for Wymans Limited. He later married Rose Johnson and moved to 67 St. Mary’s Road in Ilford.
Frederick is recorded on the first Roll of Honour (in the Christmas 1914 Chronicles magazine). It gives his rank and regiment as ‘Sergt., 4th Essex.’ A year later, Sergeant Walker wrote the following letter to the school;
‘Candidly, war is not pleasant, and is only bearable as a duty. I am pleased to say I have dodged many a bit of lead during the past fortnight, and hope to continue so to do. You see, out here (Gallipoli) you cannot get beyond shell-fire unless you take a ten-mile trip to sea. Everything is barren (I haven’t seen a building of any sort for a fortnight). We have to make our own roads, and so ‘our’ war is half a navvying expedition… My sentiments are: Roll on, time- a speedy and honourable peace- a safe return- and, meanwhile, good luck to all Old Boys engaged.'
Sadly, Frederick was unable to ‘dodge the lead’ throughout the war and he died of his wounds in the 53rd General Hospital, Boulogne on 19th March 1918. He had served with the Essex Regiment (service number 5356) in the Balkans from 11th August 1915. However, by the time of his death, he had joined the 2nd Battalion of the South Wales Borderers (service number 202444) and was involved in the Battle of Passchendaele. His body was buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery, France (Grave VIII. D. 10A).
He left behind his widow, Rose and daughter, Lilian (who was born in 1916).
Research by Andrew Emeny, History Teacher at ICHS
ICHS school records and magazines
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Ilford County High School started life as the Park Higher Grade School in 1901 in Balfour Road, Ilford. It was renamed Ilford County High School (or initially County High School, Ilford) in the years after the school’s management was transferred from Ilford School Board to Essex Education Committee in 1904.