Friday, 18 February 2011

Gordon Boyd Walker: The Story Behind the Name

Today we feature a name that isn't part of anyones research as far as we are aware, but instead highlights how one man honoured the memory of his best friend.

A recent new member of the Scottish War Memorials Project posted that he was looking for information on a Second World War casualty. He had been told that this man Gordon Walker had been the best friend of his father, and after Walkers death his father had named his son after him, to honour his memory.

Gordon, the SWMP member in question, had heard this story, and had met Walkers sister, but apart from that didn't know very much.

At this point the intrepid SWMP members used their considerable detective skills to find out more about Walker in order that Gordon could learn more about the man he was named after.

Gordon Boyd Walker was born on the 19th of May 1923, and was the younger son of Ernest and Margaret Walker, of "Dunolly", Kilmarnock Road, Newton Mearns.

Together with his brother Ian, he joined the High School of Glasgow in 1935. As he was fond of animals, he went on to the Royal Veterinary College in Glasgow, before leaving in 1940.

In September 1941 he joined the Royal Air Force, and underwent training in both Canada and the United States.

1943 would prove to be a tragic one for the Walker family. Ian, the eldest son, was killed on the 27th March when HMS Dasher sank after exploding in the Clyde.

Ten days later, Gordon Boyd Walker was on board Lancaster ED662, which was taking part in a Bullseye exercise in Suffolk. The bomber suffered a total engine failure and hit the ground at Kennyhill, 1 mile North of Mildenhall Airfield. There were no survivors.

The two brothers are buried together in Mearns cemetery.

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