No. 18990, ‘B’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 33)
No known grave
Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)
Ballywalter and District War Memorial
Ballywalter Presbyterian Church
Ballywalter Masonic Lodge No. 386
Family grave headstone in Whitechurch Cemetery Ballywalter
Walter Gunning was born on 21 December 1882 in Ballywalter and he was a son of Hugh and Mary Ann Gunning (nee Bowden) who were married on 13 March 1860 in Greyabbey Presbyterian Church.
Hugh Gunning worked as a bootmaker and he and Mary Ann had fourteen children:
Eliza Jane (born around 1860/1861)
William (born around 1862/1863)
John (born around 1863/1864)
Annie (born 21 January 1865; died 27 January 1932 aged 67)
James (born 22 November 1866)
Robert (born 3 July 1868)
John (born 6 January 1871)
James (born 4 April 1873)
Charlotte Louisa (born around 1874; died 12 November 1946 aged 71)
Agnes (Ninnie, born 28 June 1875; died 2 June 1887 aged 11 years)
Arthur (born 9 April 1879; died 10 September 1879 aged 5 months)
Angus (born 10 January 1881; died 6 February 1887 aged 6 years)
Walter (born 21 December 1882)
Hugh Herbert (born around 1885/1886; died 18 April 1899 aged 13 years)
Walter Gunning was baptised in Ballywalter Presbyterian Church.
Walter Gunning and Mary Selina Sloan were married on 25 September 1908 in First Donaghadee Presbyterian Church. Mary Selina Sloan from Ballywalter was a daughter of William Sloan, a posting master.
The Gunning family lived in Ballywalter where Walter worked as a grocer and their son William, who was born on 1 September 1912, was baptised in Ballywalter Presbyterian Church.
Walter Gunning’s mother, Mary Ann, died on 14 March 1913 (aged 71).
Walter Gunning enlisted in Ballywalter and he served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.
Lance Corporal Walter Gunning (No. 18990) was 33 when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and he has no known grave.
Lance Corporal Walter Gunning (No. 18990) is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France; on Ballywalter and District War Memorial; in Ballywalter Presbyterian Church and in Ballywalter Masonic Lodge No. 386. He is also commemorated on the family grave headstone in Whitechurch Cemetery Ballywalter.
Walter Gunning’s father, Hugh, died on 10 February 1920 (aged 82).