Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

In the 1870s Walter Herbert's father, William Sidney Kingswell who was born in 1850, moved from his native town of Niton on the Isle of Wight to Portsmouth. He pursued the trade of the blacksmith during his entire working life so may have learned it whilst on the Island and moved to Portsmouth in search of work. He was first found in the town by the 1871 census when he was living as a lodger at 6 Telegraph Street.
William met Harriett Jane Pelley around the same time and they married early in 1872, presumably because Harriett was already pregnant with their first child, also called Harriett, who was born a few months later. The 1881 census found William and Harriett at 2 St. Vincent Road, Southsea with two more children, William jnr. born in 1874 and Elizabeth born in 1881.
By 1891 the family was living at 1 Alver Terrace, Eastney Road, and had expanded by the birth of another two children, Frederick in 1884 and Walter Herbert in 1886. William's wife Harriett died in 1900 and a few months later he married Emma Gravett from Wokingham. The couple moved to 71 Oxford Road, Southsea in time for the 1901 census in which Emma called herself Elizabeth. With them were Frederick and Walter but by 1911 only Walter remained at home. He then described himself as a butcher.
Walter Herbert probably left home to join the Royal Marine Light Infantry (RMLI) in the period leading up to the Great War but exact details of his early military career are currently unknown. In 1915 he was granted leave to marry Elizabeth Burton in Portsmouth but they probably had a short honeymoon as he would have been back with his unit the 1st Royal Marine Battalion, Royal Naval Division soon afterwards. Nothing more is known of Walter Herbert except that he lost his life in August 1918.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Kingswell, Walter Herbert, Private (PLY/2123S), Royal Marine Light Infantry, died 21/08/1918. Commemorated on the Vis-En-Artois Memorial (Panel 1). Husband of Elizabeth Kingswell, of 71, Oxford Rd., Southsea, Portsmouth.
Walter Kingswell is also remembered on the St. Simon's Church WW1 Memorial and the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War' Section X.
Tim Backhouse
March 2015