Maurice John Walsh Senior
Born Rochester Kent 1846 died Moose Jaw Canada April 7th 1918 aged 72 of pneumonia.
Maurice was born in Rochester, Kent into a naval family, he boarded at Greenwich Hospital School, the term “hospital” was not be significant in terms of his health or a desire to learn medicine, it was a naval school, the term was used based on the original mission of the school, taken directly from a web site set up for them, see links or information at the end of this page.
Sometime between 1911 and 1912 we know he left to join three of his sons in Canada leaving his youngest son, Gerald and two daughters, Ellen who was by then married to an army officer and Annie who in 1911 was working at the Bull Hotel, in England. Maurice Thomas the other son left for Canada on the 23rd June 1911 again from Liverpool.
The 1911 census, Maurice seniors last census in the UK, shows him living in 78, Chaucer road, Gillingham, Kent, it was sometime after this he joined his sons.
Gerald at this time was in the Navy at Chatham, later however we know that in 1913 whilst his ship was anchored in Canada he “jumped” ship to join his three brothers and father in Moose Jaw Canada.
According to his navy record Maurice was 5 feet 7 ½ inches tall with grey eyes and dark complexion, it is also noted on his record that he has a “scar on the ankle of his right foot”.
His record in the Navy was mainly dockyard based although he did go to sea, the navy record shows him well respected and there are shows of “very good” and many “exemplary”.
His records one of the ships he served on was HMS Castor, the information below has been pasted directly from “Wikipedia”.
HMS Castor was a 36-gun fifth rate frigate of the Royal Navy. .
She was used as a training ship from January 1860, and was a Royal Naval Reserve training ship at North Shields from April 1862, having been reduced to 22 guns. She was sold at Sheerness on 25 August 1902 for breaking up at Castle & Sons breakers yard in Woolwich.
One of the reasons for inserting this particular ship is that whilst it was stationed at North Shields and it is most likely this is where he met Annie Dorrington Gittins as this would explain why there marriage took place in Newcastle in 1874.
We know he was a staunch supporter of home rule for Ireland, a prominent Catholic who sent his girls to Notre Dame convent and at least the younger boys to the Xaverian Brothers Catholic school in Sussex.
He was also very active on local issues in Sheppey
He was a local councillor, appears to be a well respected local man of some note, this born out by his obituary, he was a patriotic Brit and served his country, his support for home rule in Ireland, no doubt stemming from his Irish roots.
Note in his obituary there is reference to the fact he was survived by his two brothers and a sister living in Sheerness.
There is a clock in the centre of Sheppey, photo is in gallery, Maurice’s name is on a plaque attached to the clock. Named with other councillors celebrating coronation of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra following on from the death of Queen Victoria.
After the death of both his wife Annie and father in the same year Maurice paid for a “Rose window” to be installed in his local church as well as a carpeting, see memorabilia for the extract.
Below is the original mission statement from the Greenwich hospital school he attended.
The 1694 Hospital charter had spoken of 'the maintenance and education of the Children of Seamen happening to be slain or disabled'.
For more information on the school go to links page and you should find a direct link to the school web site.
Later the mission of the school changed to educate boys for the navy, mainly sons of current naval officers and crew, we know from an obituary that Maurices dad, William John, our great, great grandfather was in the Royal Navy and the last survivor of the battle of Navarino, the last great naval battle fought by sailing ships in the war of Greek independence see William senior for more.