COWES, ISLE OF WIGHT
13 Milton Road, Cowes, Retired
Walter Warrior, the son of Alfred and Annie Warrior, was born in Northam, Southampton but at the age of eight is listed in the 1881 census as living in Brunswick Road, Cowes, the home of his grandparents. At the age of eighteen he was living at 2 Mary Street (now St Andrews Street) and was apprenticed as a Shipwright to the local boatbuilding firm of Groves and Gutteridge. At twenty three, he married Annie (nêe Lee) ‘a girl from along the road’ and they lived all their married life at 13 Milton Road.
‘Walt’ continued in the boatbuilding industry all his life, albeit often interrupted by his many outside interests.
He was very much a people person, caring for the well-being of others less fortunate than himself and this fuelled his commitment to many organisations.
The list is long: he was a pioneer of the Trade Union movement and for thirty six years was Secretary of his Cowes branch. He was a founder member of the Isle of Wight Labour party, a member of the Co-operative Society’s General Committee and a member of the Island’s County Council, representing Medina Ward, being elected a County Alderman in 1940. He was Chairman of the Public Health, Maternity and Child Welfare Committee until the ‘new’ Health Committee was established in 1947, of which he was also elected Chairman and served on until his death.
Concerned about the welfare of the poor, needy and old folks, Walter became a member of many organisations, including the Public Assistance Committee and the IoW Employment Committee, the Preventive Detention Committee, Parkhurst Prison and Camp Hill Borstal Committees. He was a member of the advisory committee for the appoi of Magistrates and indeed, was a Magistrate himself. The Magistrates Committee included people in high office, including General Jack Seely and Sir Godfrey Baring. A committed Christian, Walter also found time to be a Church Warden at St Mary’s Church at Cowes.
After the First World War he became a bitter opponent of the ‘means test’ created by the Tory Government and continued to fight for what he believed was right.
With many daytime committee meetings to attend, his employer allowed him the time off, although his wages were ‘stopped’ whilst away from the yard.
What hardship this may have bestowed upon his home life is open to conjecture and we must assume that he had a very understanding wife.
Walter Henry Warrior was a great opponent of injustice and sacrificed much in his own life to help others. A small cul-de-sac in Cowes, Warrior Avenue, bears his name – a small token of appreciation for his immeasurable service to the needy of Cowes.