A SOLDIER killed while serving with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment during the First World War has received a full military service.
New Zealander Captain Henry John Innes-Walker was killed aged 25 during the Second Battle of Ypres on the Belgium frontier in April 1915. Capt Walker was among 500 men from the regiment killed during the battle.
The remains of Capt Walker and six unknown soldiers were found during an archaeological dig near the village of St Julien in Belgium in 2016.
An unknown soldier from the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, together with five unknown soldiers of unknown regiments, were all be buried alongside Captain Walker at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission New Irish Farm Cemetery in Belgium during a service on Wednesday (April 18).
The service, organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), was conducted by the Reverend Stuart Richards, chaplain to the 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Mr Richards said: “It is a privilege to be part of this on-going act of national remembrance, to preserve and dedicate anew these memorials for future generations.
“Captain Walker travelled from the other side of the world to serve his country, and was never to see his home again. A century on, his family have made that same long journey in his honour, and to remember those he led and died with.”
Capt Walker’s great nephew Allan Innes-Walker was among family members who attended the service.
He said: “According to his men, Jack’s last words were ‘Come on lads’ as he raised his revolver and led his company towards German lines and heavy fire. His discovery and burial are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for my children to connect to a family member and a devastating history – an unexpected and inspiring legacy.”
Alistair Innes-Walker, another great nephew, named his son after Capt Walker.
He said: “My son is named after great uncle Jack. At school we sat beneath his memorial stained glass window – an ever-present reminder of a sad but proud history.”