PRIVATE WALTER SCOTT TELFORD
20TH AUGUST 1917 AGE 23
BURIED: LIVNGSTONE CHURCHYARD EXTENSION, UK
Walter Scott Telford died of wounds in a military hospital in Britain. Although the War Graves Commission's records have him serving with the 3rd Battalion Scots Guards, his medal rolls index card indicates that on 4 October 1915, when he qualified for the award of the 1914-15 Star by entering a theatre of war, he was in the 1st Battalion. The 3rd Battalion was in any case a home battalion and never went abroad during the war. None of this helps us discover when Telford was wounded but it is obvious that his wound was serious enough for him to be returned to a hospital in Britain - that he had that much yearned for 'Blighty' wound. Not that soldiers wanted it to be serious enough to kill them but just serious enough to keep them out of the war for a long time, preferably until it was over.
Telford was one of thirteen children, five of whom died before him, none of them in the war. His military service number indicates that he joined up between 3 September and 1 October 1914, making him if not actually one of the first one hundred thousand volunteers certainly an early volunteer, all of them prepared to 'do their bit' as the recruiting posters encouraged them to do.
Telford is commemorated on the war memorial in Livingston. Originally this was the memorial for employees of the Dean Oil Works in the town, indicating that Telford, like his father, was employed there in the shale mining industry.
His mother having died in 1910, it was his father who chose his inscription.