Not bad for someone who started as a damned ranker like Hook or Hitch. Major James Alfred Walter J P
Extract from an obit. article in the Central Somerset Gazette - Friday 10 February 1922 [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
He lived at Jacks Close, Glastonbury and died on the 5th February 1922 at the age of 67
" ......Bronchial trouble further aggravated his illness in the autumn. He survived that, and, like a true soldier, clung desperately to life and took keen interest in the town's affairs until the end. But a day or so before he died bronchial trouble again attacked him, and his heart could not withstand it; and he passed away on Sunday Morning.
Major Walter was one of those men who are peculiarly fitted for a military career. He seemed born for the Army. He was little more than seventeen when he enlisted into the 57th Regiment of Foot in 1872. His first foreign service was in the Zulu War, which, for some years, concluded in 1879 with the overthrow of Cetywayo. He was one of those to whom Lord Chelmsford took a memorable relief party. But Private Walter (as he was then) speedily gained promotion. Promotion in those days was not as rapid as in later years, and his career was all the more interesting. For a considerable period he was garrison clerk at Candy (Ceylon). His rise thereafter was more rapid. Soon he became Quartermaster-Sergeant, and in 1890 he was commissioned to the rank of Lieutenant Quartermaster, a post for which, in view of his preceding service, he was, eminently fitted. It was at Hounslow Barracks' much of his Lieutenant Quartermastership was performed; and he saw service three times in Ireland, in Curragh and Kildare. In 1910 he attained to a Captaincy.
He served with the Middlesex through the South African War, and in September, 1901, was mentioned in dispatches by the late Lord Roberts. In the Sonth African campaign ho was assistant provost marshal to the Tulbagh district, and railway staff officer at Majesfontein. After a captaincy lasting five years he was given the rank of Major. A year later, after 34 years' service, he was placed on the retired list. His decorations were: Tho Zulu War modal and clasp, in recognition of his services in the subjugation of the tribes under Cetywayo; the Queen's South African medal and clasp (1900- 02); and the King's South African medal sad clasp (1901-02). In 1880 he was married, at Dublin, to Miss Eccles, of Scarborough, and on his retirement in 1906 he came, with his wife and daughter". to live in his native town. But idleness was not conducive to Major Walter. He was an active man, whose vex" nature demanded a vocation, and he chose to participate in the affairs of the town in which he was born and schooled. And in 1907 he was te elected—top of the poll--a member of the Town Council. Always he showed a zealous interest in the welfare of the community, his value being demonstrated by his readiness to give his support to any project of public , benefit. He was a man for whom service was almost. a passion. He was Mayor during 1913 and 1914, and ho was thus chief magistrate of the town at the outbreak of war in August, , 1914. He was at once recalled to Mill Hill, where hundreds of recruits were attested by him during the Kitchener Army rush. Illhealth intervened and he was compelled to abandon work in this directihn. Later, however, ho was Military Representative on the Glastonbury and Street Tribunals, which were set up under the Military Service Acts, and in this capacity ho did good work.
By a coincidence, Major Walter was Glastonbury's Peace Mayor, for he was elected to that. high office two days before the signing of the Armistice on Nov. 11, 1918. He was therefore Mayer during the first year of Peace, and the Committee of Peace Celebrations in July 1919 and the War Memorial Committee were each under his chairmanship. A Justice of Peace for the County of Somerset, Major Walter was also a member of the Wells Board of Guardians and the Wells Union Assessment Committee. He was a long-standing Freemason. In 1881, in Limerick, he was initiated in the Trimm Lodge No. 333......
THE FUNERAL. The funeral, which took place on Wednesday, was, though attended with civic honours, of a quiet character. It Major .Walter's desire to avoid ostentation. He disliked personal show, for he one of the most simple of men. The funeral cortege left the house shortly before 3.30, and the first part of the service, which the Rev. T. J. Williams (Vicar of St. Benedict's) conducted, was hold in the Cemetery Chapel."