Once again my WWI research necessitates a side trip. This time I happened across a newspaper article as follows: In the Portsmouth Herald newspaper of 14 Aug 1917, Tuesday, page 4: “Former Concord Man killed in action. Concord Aug 14.–Alan Walker, 23, who until quite recently was employed at the New Hampshire State hospital, was killed in action last May according to a list of casualties published in a newspaper in Scotland. Walker’s brother, Leonard has won the military medal.”
Allen McEwen Walker was not the easiest person to track down. The newspaper spelled his name incorrectly, though they did get the other details right. Allen M. Walker, like others who fought during World War I in non-U.S. Regiments, were usually not recognized on local and state memorials. As is this case for Allen, as he does NOT appear on the Concord NH WWI monument, nor in the NH State House Honor Roll.
Allan McEwen Walker was the son of Leonard & Margaret “Maggie” (Ross) Walker, born 1 April 1894 in Forfarshire, Lochee, Dundee, Scotland and baptized on 17 June 1894 in at St. Luke’s Church in Lochee, Dundee, Angus, Scotland. He came from a good sized family with siblings [WALKER]: James, Leonard Ballion, Nelly Ross, May Gordon and Alexander Ballion. In the 1901 Scottish Census he is living in the Dundee area with his family.
Next I find him on 12 February 1913 residing in the United States, when he completed an Intention of Naturalization. At that time he swore to the following; aged 19, occupation, cook: State Hospital; white, medium height of 5ft 6 inches; weight 125 pounds; black hair brown eyes, scar on right side of neck. Residing now at Pleasant St. Concord NH; immigrated from Glasgow Scotland on the vessel Unidian on 17 July 1911.
He did not stay long for by 1917, perhaps earlier, he was a member of The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment), 2nd Battalion. His regimental number was 31047. The National Army Museum has some records that show he was killed in action on 3 May 1917, and that his father, Leonard, received his effects.
Allen M. Walker was buried in the Arras Memorial, Arras, Department du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de Calais, France, Plot: Bay 1 and 2. The location of his final resting place gives us a possible clue to how he met his end.
Most of those commemorated at the Arras Memorial were killed in the Battle of Arras which was fought between 9 April and 16 May 1917.
[Editor’s Note: this story is part of an on-going series about heroic New Hampshire men and women of World War I. Look here for the entire listing].