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Walter Edward Johnson

Rank: Wheeler

Lifetime: 1882-1918

Reference: 101213

Wheeler Walter Edward Johnson died on 29 September 1918 at the Middlesex County Asylum at Tooting. He was buried with full military honours at Teddington Cemetery.

According to his entry on the Online WW1 War Memorial for Teddington, he was born in Loughton Essex , the son of John and Emily Johnson. By 1891 the family had moved to 1 Maud Villas, Church Road, Teddington but had relocated to Hampton Wick by 1901 when they were living at Eating House, Old Bridge Street. The Johnson family had moved again to 6, High Street, Hampton Wick by 1911 and by 1918 they lived at 25, High Street.

According to his various obituaries in The Surrey Comet dated 5 October 1918 & 9 October 1918, before enlisting he had been employed by the Lyceum Theatre as a stage manager and had been employed for about 13 years as a manager of Walter Melville’s touring companies. He returned from Australia, where he was touring with the Horace Golding Company, in 1916 to voluntarily enlist in the Machine Guns Corps (Cavalry) Royal Field Artillery at Scotton Camp on 17 August 1916.

He served in France for a year and 170 days before “being seized with brain disorder”, presumably shell shock (PTSD). According to his entry on the Online WW1 War Memorial for Teddington, he was discharged on 2 February 1918 as suffering from dementia “no longer physically fit for war service”. His obituary states that he was invalided to England, admitted to the asylum in Tooting where he died on 29 October 1918 of unspecified causes.

Although buried with full military honours, Wheeler Johnson was not commemorated on either the Hampton Wick or Teddington War Memorials perhaps because of the nature of his death. He does an entry on the Online WW1 War Memorial for Teddington.

The first phase of this Project is to gather information about the men commemorated on the Hampton Wick War Memorial who fought in the Great War, also known as World War I, WWI or the First World War.

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