Captain John M T Walker

Biography of Captain John M T Walker

John Walker was born in Glasgow on 17th September 1895. Most of his early education was at the High School of Glasgow where in later years, he served as a cadet in the OTC. In 1914, on leaving school, he commenced training in marine insurance. He joined the University of Glasgow Officers’ Training Corps and as a member of the Engineer Section, attended the fateful last annual summer camp before hostilities.

On the outbreak of the war, he volunteered for service and joined the 2nd Battalion Glasgow Highlanders as a 2nd Lieutenant. His commission, dated November 1914, is unusual in that it has the personal signature of King George V. The 1st Battalion Glasgow Highlanders was one of the first Territorial Units to reach France in 1914, while the 2nd Battalion acted as reserve, supplying them with fresh troops throughout the four years of conflict.

Apart from a short time in a Cambridge military hospital, John Walker stayed with the Second Battalion for about three years, serving in Stirling, Norfolk and at the Curragh Camp in Ireland. He was appointed regimental Signals Officer and also acted for a while as a Company Commander. In later years he would recall the duty he most disliked; that of trooping officer taking drafts (from the Glasgows, the Highland Light Infantry and the Northumberland Fusiliers) from Curragh Camp to Dublin, then by sea to England or Wales, by train to Folkestone and then over the English Channel to France in the misery and stench of hard-pressed cross channel ships. Almost all of his friends from school, from University OTC and from Wellington Church in Glasgow were killed in the conflict.

John Walker was posted to France around the end of 1917. Little is known of his experience there, but he returned very ill in 1918 and was to suffer with asthma for the rest of his life. He was sent to Fife and became 2nd in Command of the newly raised 51st Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry but shortly after was hospitalised and then discharged on medical grounds retaining the rank of Captain.

In 1919 he spent some time in Trinidad working on a cocoa plantation, but returned to Glasgow and managed a furniture manufacturing business in Weaver Street. He was recalled to service in 1940 as a Captain on the General List, but was discharged again following a heart attack in 1942. John Walker lived in Hillhead and was associated with the furniture trade for the rest of his life. He died in August 1978 leaving a wife and two sons.



Captain John M T Walker
Rank: Captain
Regiment: The Glasgow Highlanders (9th Highland Light Infantry)
Degree: N/A
Awards: N/A
Comments: Member of University of Glasgow OTC
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A


Biography: Biographical information contributed by Fred M Walker, son of Captain John M T Walker

Photograph: Photograph reproduced by kind permission of Fred M Walker. The photograph was Captain John M T Walker's commissioning photograph, taken by Weir of Byres Road, Glasgow

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