Born: 1899, Stoke, Ipswich.
Died: 14th May 1916; age 17; KiA.
Enlistment Location: Ipswich.
Date of Entry Therein: 27th October 1915 – France.
Rank: Lance Corporal; Service Number: 3489
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion.
Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1915 Star.
Panel 37 & 38.
Pas de Calais,
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Mr & Mrs E.S. Hood, of 3, Little Gipping Street, Ipswich.
1901 9, Bright Street, Ipswich.
Walter was 2 years old and living with his parents & sister, they were staying at the home of his maternal grandparents, uncle & great uncle.
James Burman, 55, a Horseman – Ipswich Sanitary Authority, born Ipswich.
Mary Burman (nee Callington), 50, born Ipswich.
Frederick R. Burman, 18, a Labourer – Sugar Mill, born Ipswich.
Thomas Callington, 49, born Ipswich.
Ellen Sarah Hood (nee Burman), 20, born Ipswich.
Walter Thomas Sandgate Hood, 22, a Bricklayer’s Labourer, born Landgate, Kent.
Elizabeth Ellen R. Hood, 8 months, born Ipswich.
1911 15, Handford Cut, Handford Road, Ipswich.
Walter was 12 years old and living with his maternal grandparents & great uncle.
James Burman, 66, a general Labourer – Ipswich Road Repairs.
Mary Burman, 61.
Thomas Callington, 59.
A family note: (Derrick Palmer)”Walter, at the age of 12, attempted to save the life of a young man who was swimming in West End Road bathing place. Sadly the young man died, the Ipswich Coroner at the inquest commended Walter Hood for his brave effort, he was awarded a purse of money and told he had the makings of fine man.”
“Further to this, I researched my Uncle Walter’s army service up to the date when he was killed in 1916, he was a determined lad and enlisted well under age at 15, he lived opposite the Drill Hall in Great Gipping Street and may have been influenced by the daily activities. However, his true age was soon discovered which resulted in him being discharged. He re-enlisted at 16 and entered the war in France in 1915. “
1912 Evening Star
Ipswich Bathing Tragedy
Lad`s Courageous Dive
The circumstances attending the death of Leonard Knights (20) formerly of Woodbridge Road were investigated on Tuesday afternoon by the Ipswich Coroner at Smart Street School. The body of the young fellow was discovered floating in the water at the West End Bathing-place the previous afternoon. The Coroner told the Jury that the deceased ate a heavy meal and then went to the bathing-place, some long distance on a bicycle. He entered the water and was seen to endeavour to clutch hold of a rope and then suddenly disappear.
The boat was got out by the caretaker and the body was recovered, life being extinct. Artificial respiration was tried without result. Mrs Knights, the deceased mother, said her son was a butcher. He had just got rid of an illness, and the doctor said he had not a strong heart. He was very fond of
the water, and on Monday after dinner he said to her he was going to bathe. For several weeks he had been bathing twice a day at Stoke. Monday was the first day he had gone to the West End bathing-place. She added that she had warned him to be careful, but he said he could not drown. He could swim a little.
Walter Edward James Hood, a lad living at 15 Handford Cut, said he was
employed by Mr Pratt at the West End bathing-place. On Monday he saw the deceased came down to bathe, undress, and go into the water. He attempted to get hold of the division rope but failed to reach it, and he immediately sank. Witness went to the hut for Mr Pratt, and the boat, which was in the water, was quickly rowed to the spot. Mr Webb, a bather, assisted Mr Pratt, the distance to the body being about sixty yards. Whilst the “drags” were being disentangled men soon recovered the body and artificial respiration was Commenced in the boat, and then in the hut. Deceased had come down on his bicycle and went into the water by the steps. He made no noise, and did not cry out. Witness, who was ready to bathe, was only five yards distant from deceased. By a Juryman: It was three minutes from the time the body went down until it was brought up.
Another Juryman: It must have been at least fifteen minutes before the body was brought up, because a boy had to inform Mr Pratt, and then they had to row 60 yards.
The boy, in answer to Dr Hossack, said he dived to the bottom and got hold of the body, but could not lift it. He saw the body at the bottom from where he was on the surface. There was no struggle. The Coroner: Why did you not tell us before that you dived in? It is something to be proud of (Hear-hear ..from Jurymen). I suppose you are a good swimmer?
The witness replied in the affirmative.
The Coroner: That shows the advantage of learning to swim. Every boy and girl ought to learn the art.
Mr Pratt the caretaker at the Bathing-place said deceased had bathed before: He came for a penny ticket and received it. As soon as witness heard the alarm he got out the boat and drags. The body was taken out of six or seven feet of water. It could be seen at the bottom, as the water was clear. There were no signs of life, and artificial respiration was kept up until the doctor, who came very soon, arrived on the scene.
Ernest Knights, market gardener, and a brother of deceased, said the latter was occupied ten minutes with his dinner, and he left saying he was going to a fresh bathing-place. Deceased could swim thirty-five yards witness believed. Mr J.F.C.Hossack surgeon, practising at Ipswich, said at 2-30 he received a telephone message to attend at the West End Bathing Place, and went down at once. The body was lying on the floor of the hut, he examined it and although he could not detect any heart beat, he continued the artificial respiration for half an hour, but there was no response. There were no marks upon the body, and the probability was that the deceased fainted, and had an attack of syncope. That might have been caused by his hurried meal, the rushing to the water, and entering so soon. It was very dangerous to bathe less than two to three hours after a hearty meal. The Coroner summed up and said this was an exceptionally sad case inasmuch as the deceased was the support of the family, as they had heard from the Doctors evidence, they would understand that it negatived the idea of drowning. The Coroner added that it was a very brave and courage’s act on the part of the lad Hood to dive after the deceased. And it was only right that it should be recognised (Hear Hear) it was a deadly practise, to use the Doctors words, to bathe soon after a meal, as at least two or three hours should elapse before it was contemplated. If they did not wait that time the consequences might be serious, and it was as well that the public should know this. The Jury returned a verdict of death from syncope, and heartily commended the conduct of the witness Hood. The Coroner expressed this to the lad in appropriate terms, and said he had the markings of a fine man.
(Mr J.F.C.Hossack surgeon, Mayor of Ipswich 1928-29)