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Photo of Walter Evelyn Lee

Walter Evelyn Lee

Analytical Chemist
Birthplace Yorkshire Bradford EnglandPlace of Death Halifax England Date of Birth: December 4, 1889 Date of Death: July 1, 1975


Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by): Walter Evelyn Lee

Gender: Male

Date and Place of Birth: December 4th 1889, Edle, Bradford 

Date and Place of Death: July 1975, Halifax. 

Nationality: English


Childhood: 21 Leeds Road, Idle, Yorkshire.

Parents: Hiram Lee, Hannah.

Parent’s occupations: Hiram Lee: Stone Mason.

Schools / universities attended and years of attendance: 

College School: Bradford Technical School.

Occupation: Textile chemist.

Place of residence at Gretna: 18 Victory Avenue, Gretna.

Job title at Gretna: Analytical Chemist

Marital status: Eileen Walbank, 1917.


Children: Kenneth W Lee (1923 – 1988), Margaret ‘Peggy’ S. Lee (1927 -). 

Travels: Stanningley, Shipely, Gretna, Halifax.



Trivia / any other information: 

In the 1901 census Walter Evelyn Lee was recorded as living at 4 Thorp Garth, Idle. By 1911 he is lodging at the home of Irwin Hodgson at 12 Summerville Terrace and is recorded on the census as a student attending Bradford Technical School. He specialised in chemistry and on completing his studies moved into industry as an analytical chemist. At the outbreak of work he enlisted in Liverpool and on 24 September 1914 joining the 17th Battalion of the Liverpool Regiment. In September 1915 he was transferred to the Royal Engineers where he served in France as a chemist, helping, in all likelihood with the production of mustard gas. He was transferred again on 20 August 1920 to the explosives supply stores at Storeys Gate Westminster and on 20 August 1916 to HM Gretna. There he continued his work as a chemist.


Walter Lee married Eileen Walbank daughter of Herbert Walbank textile designer on 18 July 1917 at the Parish Church Baildon. The couple moved back to Gretna staying at 18 Victory Avenue a common address for chemists. It is not clear where Walter worked but the Shipley Times report on his wedding noted that he was doing ‘important war work in England’. This suggests that he was based at the Mossband section. His work there was difficult as his military record notes a discharge having suffered ‘impairment since entry into the service’. 


The couple stayed on in Gretna until at least the spring of 1919 when they returned to Shipley residing at ‘The Hook’, Shipley Green. Walter returned to industry working as a textile chemist. His father-in-law Herbert Walbank also initiated Walter into the Airedale Masonic Lodge on 29 September 1920. Walter and Eileen had their first child Kenneth on 10 April 1923 followed by Margaret in January 1927. During the 1930s the Lee family moved to Halifax where he took up a job as works manager which dealt with the dyeing and finishing of textiles. They stayed in the township of Brighouse at 7 Westfield and remained there until after the war. Walter Evelyn Lee died on July 31st 1969. Eileen relocated to Blackburn in the early 1970s and died there in July 1975.     




  • Books published (Title, year of publication, publisher): 
  • Books written about the individual or mentioning the individual (Title, year of publication, publisher): 


West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813 – 1910 (1890), digital image, s.v. “Walter Evelyn Lee”,

1891 England & Wales Census, Idle, Yorks, digital image, s.v. “Walter Evelyn Lee”,

1901 England & Wales Census, Idle, Yorks, digital image, s.v. “Walter Evelyn Lee”,

1911England & Wales Census, Stanningley, Yorks, digital image, s.v. “Walter Evelyn Lee”,

UK, British Army WW 1 Service Records, 1914 – 1920, digital image, s.v. “Walter Evelyn Lee”,

West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1813 – 1935, “Walter Evelyn Lee”, 

“Interesting Wedding”, Shipley Times & Express, July 20, 1917, 2.

England, United Grand Lodge of England Freemason Membership Registers, 1751 – 1921, digital image, s.v. “Walter Evelyn Lee”,

West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840 – 1962, (1938), digital image, s.v. “Walter Evelyn Lee”, 

1939 England & Wales Register, Brighouse, Halifax, digital image, s.v. “Walter Evelyn Lee”

England & Wales National Probate Calendar, 1858-1995, digital image, s.v. “Walter Evelyn Lee”, (1969),

England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007, digital image, s.v. “Eileen Lee”, (1975),

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