Service no. 204513
Private, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), 1st Battalion posted to 1st/2nd Battalion
Killed in action 27 August 1918
Remembered at Summit Trench Cemetery, Croisilles, Pas de Calais, France
Information from the 1911 census
Walter Branson lived with his family in 4 rooms (including kitchen) at 71 Dorset Road in 1911. His father, John Branson, 51, was a baker, born in Clapham; his mother Emily, 40, was born in Lambeth. Emily was, possibly, not John’s first wife – they had been married 14 years, and the census gives the oldest child as 19 (the census shows relationship to the head of the household only). Of Emily’s 8 babies, only 4 survived.
The children on the census were
Bertram Branson, 19, a bottler in a distillers, born in Lambeth
William Branson, 17, an errand lad, born in Lambeth
Ellen Branson, 15, born in Lambeth
Walter Branson, 12
Ellen Farley, a 76-year-old widow, described as a “relative” and born in Mitcham.
British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920
Walter Branson joined the Army twice. He enlisted first in the East Surrey Regiment (Service no. 13223), but after 180 days’ service was discharged at Witley on 21 January 1916, “having made a mis-statement as to age.” He was only 17 but claimed to be 19.
Branson was 5 feet 6 inches tall, weight 9 stone 9 pounds, was 34 inches around the chest (with 3½ inches expansion), had a fair complexion, with blue eyes and light brown hair. Despite his youth, he managed to impress his officers. They judged him to have a “good’ military character.