Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Although he was born in Portsmouth and spent his entire life in the Borough prior to enlisting in the army, Horace Walter's family did not have deep roots in the community. His father John was born in Lambeth and his mother Emily in Hornsey, both in London. The earliest record found of them in Portsmouth was in the census of 1901.
Quite why John and Emily settled in Portsmouth is unknown though it would certainly have had something to do with John's service with the Royal Navy from which he retired in the 1890s. The 1901 census shows the couple at 11 Beaulieu Road, which runs between Chichester Road and Laburnum Grove, North End. With them were their two sons, Ernest (b. 1891) and Horace (b. 1893). None of them have been located in the 1911 census which leaves the reference to John Adams at 11 Lyndhurst Road, North End in the 1913 edition of Kelly's Directory as the only other evidence of the family in Portsmouth.
At the outbreak of the Great War Horace Walter was 22 years of age and though he could have already been in the army it's more likely that he joined at a later date. As he was posted to a Reserve Brigade in the Royal Field Artillery it's possible that he saw no action at all. This notion may be supported by the fact that he died in England in December 1918 and is buried at High Wycombe.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission list Bombadier Horace Walter Adams (57651), Royal Field Artillery, died 07/12/1918. Buried at the High Wycombe Cemetery, (Grave Ref: 352). Son of Emily E. Adams, of 11, Lyndhurst Rd North End, Portsmouth, and the late John Adams.
Horace Adams is remembered on the Buckland United Reformed Church WW1 Memorial and on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War', Section X.
Tim Backhouse
November 2014