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Walter A Fensome

Local History

Page updated - 17 March 2009

Roll of Honour - Gt. Cornard


Chief Stoker Walter A Fensome


Royal Navy


Walter Fensome was born around 1883.  He was the son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. George Farrow of 6 Royston Villas, Great Cornard. 


No record has been found on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website but a report of his death appeared in the Suffolk and Essex Free Press in March 1917.


Walter joined the Royal Navy at the age of 18 and served for 16 years.  On enlisting he volunteered for overseas service and was sent to British Columbia, Canada for 2 years.  He then transferred to HMS Sparrowhawk, and served 3 years in Hong Kong.  Walter then transferred to submarines until 1914. 


At the outbreak of war Walter was serving on HMS Lance, a ‘Laforey’ Class Torpedo Boat Destroyer, which was part of the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla.  HMS Lance fired the first naval shot of the war when along with HMS Landrail intercepted and sunk the German Minelayer Konigin Luise on 5th August 1914.  On 17th October 1917 HMS Lance along with her sister ships ‘Lennox’; ‘Loyal’ and ‘Legion’ was involved in the sinking of the German submarines: U115, U117, U118 and U119.


Walter was reported drowned on 29th January 1917; his body was recovered five weeks later and given a Naval Burial at sea.  This was the second bereavement suffered by Mr. and Mrs. Farrow who had lost their third son George in July 1916.


Walter’s name was included on the original Roll of Honour that hangs in St. Andrew’s Church today and was hand decorated in September 1917 by the Church organist Mr. G. Marsh. 


©Shirley Smith - Sudbury & District Royal British Legion - November 2008