The Walter Tull Archive

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A brief history

Walter Daniel John Tull was born in Folkstone, Kent in 1888.  Walter’s father, Daniel Tull, came to Britain from Barbados in 1876, settling in Folkstone and marrying a local girl, Alice Plamer.  However, when Walter was still a young boy both his parents died, and he and his older brother, Edward, were admitted to an orphanage in Bethnal Green, as his stepmother could no longer support all her children.


Edward was later adopted, and moved to Glasgow.  Walter stayed in Bethnal Green until he was old enough to train as an apprentice printer.  However, Walter’s footballing skills led him into the life of a professional footballer, playing for Tottenham Hotspur, before transferring to Northampton Town.


On the outbreak of the First World War, Walter enlisted in the 17th (1st Football) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment.  He distinguished himself, and rose through the ranks, being promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in 1916.  After serving in Italy, Walter returned to France in 1918 where he was killed on 25th March during the Second Battle of the Somme.


Walter’s name is listed on the Memorial Wall at Faubourg d’Amiens Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Arras, along with 36,000 other soldiers who were killed in this theatre of war, but have no known grave.



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