England

Folkestone names road after black Army pioneer Walter Tull

  • 10 June 2014
  • From the section England
Walter Tull
Walter Tull was born in Folkestone and lived in the town until his parents died when he was nine

The first black officer to serve in the British Army is to be honoured by having a road named after him in the Kent town where he was born.

Walter Tull, who was born in Folkestone in 1888, was killed in action leading his men into battle in World War One on the Western front, in 1918.

Before the war he had been a professional footballer, playing for Tottenham Hotspur and Northampton Town.

A new road off Shepway Close is to be named Walter Tull Way.

The terrace of houses and flats on the road is near Mundella Primary, where he went to school.

Mr Tull's father was a carpenter from Barbados who married a Kent woman.

Both his parents had died by the time he was nine, when he and his brother Edward were taken to a Methodist orphanage in Bethnal Green, East London.

After Mr Tull's death some of his men made several attempts to bring him back to the British trenches but his body was never recovered.

"It is highly appropriate that we should name this road after Walter Tull," said Shepway District Council leader David Monk.

"As we are recalling the centenary of World War One this year, and Folkestone has so many connections with the conflict, it is very fitting to remember Walter in this way."

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