Walcot Harmood Banner

Walcot Harmood-Banner was born on 4th August 1882 at Puddington on Wirral and baptised in a private ceremony.  He was the son of John Sutherland Harmood- Banner (born Toxteth, Liverpool) and his first wife Elizabeth (nee Knowles) who was born in Wigan.  Elizabeth Knowles belonged to the family who ran Pearson and Knowles in Warrington, which was a coal and iron conglomerate.  Walcot’s father was an accountant who became the deputy chairman of Pearson and Knowles in 1883 and later became a Liverpool city councillor, High Sheriff of Cheshire, Lord Mayor of Liverpool and MP for Everton from 1905 until 1925.  He was knighted in 1913.

Walcot had three brothers and two sisters.  He attended Dunchurch Hall School in Warwickshire and then went on to Winchester College from 1896 until 1901. He was very good at football and polo, was a keen fisherman and a good shot.  He went into his father’s family business of Harmood-Banner and Sons in Liverpool, where he worked as a chartered accountant.  

His mother died in 1903 and his father was re-married five years later to Ella Wilstone who was a widow.

The Census of 1911 showed his father and stepmother living at Aston Hall near Runcorn, but Walcot was not living with them.  He was residing at 73, Eaton Place in London with his sister Dorothy.  He was described as an articled clerk in a chartered accountancy.  

Walcot joined the South Wales Borderers on 5th August 1914.  He was sent to France in January 1915 as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1st Battalion and was promoted to Captain in the August of that year after a short period of leave at home.  He commanded a company in 3rd Battalion.  On 29th August 1915 he was killed by a grenade bomb at Cambrin, near Bethune in France.  He was the only casualty that day at Cambrin and was buried in the Cambrin Churchyard Extension.  

He was awarded the 1914-15 Star as a 2nd Lieutenant and the British War Medal and Victory Medal as a Captain.  He is commemorated on the War Memorial at Aston-by-Sutton and on a plaque in the chancel in Ince-in Makerfield, Lancashire.  This was unveiled by his father in July 1921 and as well as being to remember Walcot, it remembers his sister Margaret Johnson Houghton, who looked after the sick and wounded in the Great War and who was killed in an accident on 27th May 1919 in performance of her duties.  His father died in 1927 at Ingmire Hall, Sedburgh to where he had retired.

Walcot Harmood-Banner was 33 years old when he was killed.