To search our directory of workers at HM Factory Gretna either enter any name, place of birth or place of death in the search box or if you know what their job was from select from the drop-down menu.
Frederick Thomas WalkerShift Chemist
FREDERIC THOMAS WALKER
Thanks to Frederic’s son Gordon Walker with the help of his sisters, for all the information noted about their father herein.
Date and place of birth: 26 April 1895 in Marseille, France
Date and place of Death: 6 December 1972 in Edinburgh
Biography: Frederic spent the earliest years of his life in France until his family moved back to Guildford, Surrey in England.
siblings:Mabel Florence -Marseilles 19 Feb 1894, Louise Cozens ” 23 Feb 1897, Albert Arthur Guildford 2 Jan 1899, Gordon Robert ” 1 Jun, 1900, Marjorie Grace ” 23 May 1902, Gilbert Alexander ” 14 Sep 1903, Alan Walter ” 20 Oct 1905
Parents: married April 29th, 1893 in Marseille
Father: Arthur Walker (b1868), profession Scripture Reader, Manager Sailor’s Home, 104 rue de République, Marseilles, died at Charing Cross Hospital of ` Diabetes Gangrene and exhaustion’ 3 Nov 1916 registered as Arthur Cozens Walker, Congregational Minister, aged 48 , Frederick present.
Mother: Frances Mathilde Baker (1861-1958). Livedat 36 Rue St.Jacques Marseilles as a governess prior to marriage. Her mother’s maiden name Harriet Cozens.Cozens-Walker adopted as family name by all of Frederick’s siblings except Frederick about time of WW1.
Parents occupation: See above
Schools Universities attended and years of attendance–.school: Guildford Grammar School, Tiffin’s Boys’ School, Kingston upon Thames 1907-12university: Matriculated as a student in University of London 1911 took additional matriculation in mathematics in 1912FTW University career unclear. Unable to take up Cambridge scholarship(?). Likely began at Battersea Polytech in 1912 and completed in 1915 before enlisting. Hisdegree was awarded in 1916University of London Hon BSc (War) 1916, external degree awarded from Battersea Polytechnic Institute, Degree renamed BSc War in 1918
Place of residence at Gretna: Not known
Marital status: married Mary Taylor Hunter 28 Aug 1929, Kirkcaldy
Children:children: Frances Mary b 19 Aug 1930, Heather Louise b 1 Feb 1933, Gordon Arthur Hunter b 30 Jan 1936
Job title at Gretna:Chemist
Trivia/any other information:WW1: Enlisted 10 August 1915 as Corporal Royal Engineers and served in France. Certainly in the front line on his 21st birthday [April 1916] -one medal is engraved `Corporal, Royal Engineers, 106481′. He claimed being an RE saved his life since they operated out in front of the trenches and shells went over their heads. Also said he `lost’ religion at the sight of all of the dead Scotsmen in their kilts.Speculating -once his U of London degree in Chemistry was awarded in 1916 he was pulled from the front line, initially to work on the development of poison gas inBordeaux (there is no record of that time -but he talked of it).Appointed Shift Chemist, Ministry of Munitions and War, Explosives Supply Dept.,Gretna, Scotland 14 sept 1916 to 18 jan 1919 where he was in charge of 170 `girls’ in the preparation of cordite and the recovery of solvent. `Gretna’ was a massive development with whole towns and extensive factories most of the [dangerous]work being done by young women.
Further Links, notes and comments:
post-war career: Post Office Engineering Dept., Chemical Assistant and Inspector 16 June 1919 to 30 jan 1924, Michael Nairn & Co, Linoleum Works, Kirkcaldy, chemist 1 feb 1924, eventually Chief Chemist and a Director till retirement 1960?
societies: The Institute of Chemistry of Great Britain & Ireland -admitted asAssociate 19 October 1919Society of Chemical Industry -1919Oil & Colour Chemists’ Association special assignment: British Intelligence Objectives Sub-committeeGerman Linoleum and related floor covering industries. 5 April -May 10 1946extensive review of German linoleum and related floor covering industries
scientific publications: see attached list of 9 -note several produced during WWIIParticularly remarkable, the extensive paper delivered to Oil & Colour Chemists’Association in July 1945 together with protracted discussion
other: London Musical Competition Festival March 1923 Certificates of Merit forsolo tenor singing gold medal class and open class.