Private Christopher Thomas Walpole


Christopher Thomas Walpole was born on 22 December 1898 in East Dereham, Norfolk, the sixth or seventh of at least thirteen children of bricklayer Arthur Walpole and his wife Sarah (née Simmons). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Toftwood, East Dereham, with his parents and ten of his siblings.

Walpole enlisted in the cavalry between 1915 and 1917 (No.33992). By June 1917 he was serving with the 3rd Reserve Regiment of Cavalry at Aldershot, a unit which trained men for the 11th, 13th, 15th and 19th Hussars, the Buckinghamshire Yeomanry, Leicestershire Yeomanry, Staffordshire Yeomanry, Wiltshire Yeomanry and Sherwood Rangers.

Later that year or in 1918 Walpole embarked for France, where he was posted to the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. This regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps from its establishment in May 1916 until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Walpole was wounded in late August or early September 1918 during the Advance to Victory offensive. On 6 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

After the war Walpole returned to East Dereham, marrying Cissie Nelson in 1920. By the time of the 1939 Register he was living with his wife and their two children at Sunset View, Whissonsett, Mitford and Launditch, Norfolk, and working as an agricultural labourer. He died at Sunset View on 25 August 1985.