The Probus Club of St Annes-on-the-Sea

Ted Walker
4 April 1923 - 24 February 2015

Ted was a Lancastrian, born and brought up in Newton-le-Willows where his father was a wheelwright working for the railway.  Ted did well at school and on gaining his School Certificate he left and got a job in the railway office.  He had an interest in flying and joined the local Air Training Corps.  When he was due to be called up at the age of 18 he volunteered for the Royal Air Force rather than be conscripted into one of the other services.  He was selected for aircrew training and this entailed him spending eighteen months in Canada.  He gained his wings, i.e. became a qualified pilot, in 1944 at the age of 21 and was attached to a squadron flying Beaufighters (light bombers) before being transferred to Lancasters.  By now the war was nearing its end but as a Warrant Officer pilot in charge of a Lancaster he flew several active missions over enemy territory but he always refused to speak of his experiences except to say everyone in the crew was scared.

On demobilization he joined Blackpool police force often doing traffic control but although he was with them for seven years he was never satisfied with the work and later got a job as a representative for the Daily Telegraph, working from their office in Newcastle.

In 1946 he had met Marie, then a member of the WRNS, at Seatoller in the Lake District while they were on separate walking holidays and they were married on 16th February 1947.  They had recently celebrated their 67th anniversary.

Marie was originally from Cleveleys so when Ted retired they came to the Fylde to be near people they knew.

Ted joined Probus in 1987 and from then on rarely missed a meeting.  He gave a talk to the club about his training experiences and later repeated it to the Probus clubs of Poulton and Cleveleys.  He was elected President of the St. Annes club in 2002.  He was also for many years a member of Lytham Forum.  His health began to falter a few years ago resulting in many spells in hospital and a heart operation and indeed he was in Blackpool Victoria Hospital when he died, aged nearly 92.

Geoff Hayman
March 2015

The photos above were loaned to me by Ted a few years ago, when we were chatting about his early Services experiences.  I kept a copy of them and am pleased to be able to show them again here.  Most of us only knew Ted in his later years, so it's nice to be able to show him and Marie as they were in the good old days.

Cliff Elliott