Walter Burt was born in the north-east during the First World War. He moved to the Chelmsford area where he worked as an accounts clerk and married at Broomfield in November 1939. During the war he served in the army and was captured by the Japanese at Singapore in February 1942. He was killed when the ship transporting him was torpedoed in November 1943. His home was in Broomfield Road, Chelmsford.
Walter was born in County Durham in 1917, the eldest son of a probation officer, Hedworth Burt, and Mary Burt (nee Riches). His parents had married in County Durham in 1910. His siblings inclided Ann Burt (1918-1919), Kenneth Burt (born 1920), Mary Burt (born 1923), Stephen Burt (norn 1924), and Geoffrey N. Burt (born 1934).
By 1939 Walter was living in the Chelmsford area and on 11th November that year he married at St. Mary's Church in Broomfield. He was then aged 22 and working as an accounts clerk. His bride was 24 year-old Eva Maud Garner of 2 Brooklyn Villas in Broomfield. She was a choristor at the church. He was a scoutmaster.
Walter served as Corporal 958014 in the Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve) andwas captured by the Japanese at thi fall of Singapore in February 1942. Confirmation of his capture did not reach home until February 1943.
In January 1944 the Essex Chronicle reported:
“Two cards from Java - On December 30th Mrs. Burt of Woodside, Broomfield Road, received two cards from her husband, Cpl. Burt, R.A.F., who is a prisoner of war in Java. These are the first communications received from him for two years. He writes that he is being treated will, his heath is good, and there is no need to worry."
Walter BURT, Corporal, Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve)
Killed at sea near Java while a Japanese prisoner of war. Aged 26
However, in reality he was already dead. He had been killed, aged 26, while being held as a prisoner of war by the Japanese, when the ship transporting him from Java was torpedoed and sunk on 29th November 1943. Official conformation of Walter’s death came to his parents on 3rd February 1944.
His home was at 'Woodside' in Broomfield Road, Chelmsford - a property on its eastern side, almost opposite Skerry Rise.
Walter has no known grave ands is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial (column 426) and on a stained glass window at St. Mary’s Church in Broomfield. His widow married Lionel M. Barrett in 1946 and died in 2005.
Walter left an estate valued at £329 5s. 4d.
Walter's father died in County Durham in 1973.