Walter was born in Leytonstone on 6th May 1891 and joined the Ilford County High School before 1904. He later completed his education at Clark’s College, Ilford and became a clerk in the Law Union and Rock Insurance Company, Chancery Lane, London.
He was the son of Walter and Emily Aldous, who lived at 26 Christchurch Road, Ilford. His father worked as a Commercial Clerk. Walter became a member of the St. Clement’s Choir, Ilford, secretary of the Young Men’s Guild Athletic Club and a member of the Ilford Cricket Club. He was unmarried when he died.
Having been pronounced unfit for military service at the outbreak of war in August 1914, he joined the Special Constables. Then, in January 1916, he was deemed fit for service and enlisted at Duke Road for the London Regiment (Artists Rifles). By 21st June 1916, he was serving with the Expeditionary Force in France, in the build up to the Battle of the Somme. He was Private No. 5652, in the 2nd/13th Battalion (Artists’ Rifles) London Regiment (Territorial Force).
In the Autumn 1916 edition of the school magazine, C.H.S.I. Chronicles, the headmaster wrote the following;
“Walter Aldous, killed in the “Somme Push,” was in the Artists, but went to France for war experience, and was attached to the 2nd London (Regiment). He wrote to me back in July telling me that he had been flung bodily across a trench by a bomb from a mortar, but had escaped with a severe headache. He was due back for the completion of his training for commission on a date a few days after that on which he was killed by a sniper’s bullet. He was an only son- the only child of his parents in fact. Our sympathy with them is too deep for words.”
The Du Ruvigny Roll of Honour records that he was killed near Souchez on 15th September 1916, following being shot by a sniper while on sentry duty in an observation post. He was buried in Maroeuil British Cemetery, north-west of Arras. His captain wrote: “He performed every duty with conspicuous cheerfulness.”
Research by Andrew Emeny, History Teacher at ICHS
ICHS school records and magazines
The Du Rivigny Roll of Honour
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.