The Friends of St. Peter's Berkhamsted

Friends of St Peter's, Great Berkhamsted

Latchford, Walter (1895-1923) and Elsie (d.1989)


Walter was born in Berkhamsted and was baptised on 4 January 1896. His father was a carpenter and the family lived at 29 Kitsbury Road. By 1911, at the age of 15, Walter was employed as a grocer’s assistant and for many years worked for the Berkhamsted Co-operative Society.

Walter enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery, as Gunner 1189, on 12 May 1915. He was 19 and after basic training he was sent to France entering the theatre of war on 17 November 1915. He remained there until he was discharged on 2 August 1919, due to sickness. By the time of his discharge he had reached the rank of Lance Bombardier (890235). He was issued with a silver badge to indicate that he was no longer fit for military service. He returned home to his parents and in the third quarter of 1920 he married Elsie V Gowers in Berkhamsted. They moved into 113 George Street. The following year they had a son, Cecil R Latchford, but tragedy struck when he died at just a year old.

Walter died in April 1923, his pension card says D o D (which I assume to mean died of disease). Elsie applied for a widow’s pension but was declined. In 1930 she married William Loveless but it transpired that he was already married so it was a bigamous marriage.  However she stood by him and they remarried in 1933.  They were still together in 1939, living in George Street. Elsie died in 1989. William died in 1968 aged 78.

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