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Walter Donald Marshall was born in the summer of 1896 in Penrith, Cumberland. His father, William, was born in Renwick and by the time Walter was born was living in Penrith, with his wife Charlotte. We are not sure what William’s profession was at the time of Walter’s birth. In 1891 he had been working as a servant in Brampton. In 1892 he had married Charlotte Brown, who was a servant from Penrith, who had been born in Langwathby. By the time Walter was born they already had two daughters, Barbara Nellie, born in Penrith in July 1894, and Sarah, born rather confusingly in 1888. We have found no trace so far of Sarah in the 1891 census with either her father or her mother, but we know she was born in Winskill, close to Langwathby where Charlotte was from.
By 1901 the family had moved to Glenridding where Walter’s father was running the Travellers Rest Pub as well as working as a general labourer. At the time the pub was only licensed to sell Beer and Ale, rather than any spirits, and was known as the “Jerry”. By then Walter had been joined by two more sisters, Edith Annie (born in Penrith at the end of 1898), and Greta Charlotte Margaret, born in Patterdale in September 1901. Walter would have attended Patterdale School alongside contemporaries from Glenridding including Johnnie Pool, Frank Brown, twins William & Thomas Hodgson, and Harold Oglethorpe.
By 1911 the family had moved again, to Holly House in Pooley Bridge, which William ran as a boarding house. By now it appears that Sarah Jane had died, although we can find no record of this, only that the 1911 census states that Charlotte had had five children of whom one had died, and obviously the other four were still living with them at Pooley Bridge.
In terms of Walter’s service in the First World War all we know is from his Medal Index Card (see below) and his entry on the Glenridding Village Hall Roll of Honour (where he is listed as “Donald” Marshall). From these we know he served in the Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) and is likely to have seen service in France from around 1916 to 1918.
So far we have not been able to find out what Walter did after the war up until the time of his death in September 1963 at the age of 67. His mother Charlotte died in 1943 aged 75, and his father William died in Penrith n December 1952 aged 82. We have no further information on any of his sisters at the present time.
If you can add anything to the story of Walter or his family please contact us.