Robert Henry Walker (1857-1939) & Basil Woodd Walker

Robert Henry Walker (1857-1939) was born on 24 March 1857 in Malton, Yorkshire, the son of the Revd John Walker (1821-1904), Rector of Bradwell, Suffolk, 1864-1904, and Louisa Gertrude Walker. He attended Dedham Grammar School, and entered St John’s College, Cambridge, in 1875 (B.A., 1879; M.A., 1882). He was ordained deacon in 1880, and priest in 1881, and was Curate of All Souls, Langham Place, London, 1880-1887. Walker joined the Christian Missionary Society in 1887, and was based at Usambiro and Mengo, 1889-1893. He was Archdeacon of Uganda, 1893-1912, and Secretary of the C.M.S. in Uganda, 1890-1912. He married Eleanor, daughter of George Barbour of Bolesworth Castle, Cheshire, in 1910. After returning to England, Walker was Vicar of Broxbourne, 1913-1919. He died on 10 January 1939 at Ealing.

He had three brothers — Wilfred Charles (1858-1939), Rector of Bradwell, Norfolk, 1905-1930, Cyril Hutchinson (1861-1955), surgeon, and Dr. Basil Woodd, and two sisters, Harriett and Margaret. A photo of the Walker family, taken at Bradwell Rectory in 1893, has been kindly provided by Canon Stephen Trapnell, DD, grandson of Dr. Cyril Hutchinson Walker:


 The Walker family in front of Bradwell rectory in 1893.  The four brothers are shown with their father and mother. Next to Robert is Mika Sematimba from Uganda, who must have been one of the first Ugandans to visit England

Rev. R.P. Ashe‘s book “Chronicles of Uganda” is dedicated to the Ven. Archdeacon Robert Henry Walker, and his Preface mentions his indebtedness to Dr. Basil Woodd Walker, and his brother, Dr. Cyril H. Walker, who arranged and photographed the collection of Uganda implements, utensils, etc..

It is recorded by Rev. Pat Ashe (son of Rev. R.P. Ashe) that, while playing as a child, Basil Walker threw a pen at his brother, Robert, and blinded him in one eye. When Basil grew up, he became an eye specialist, operated on Robert, and gave him back his sight. Basil also became a painter, and some of his water colours have survived:

Near Harlech, N. Wales (1903)

Port Isaac, Cornwall (6 July 1912)

Bradwell, Suffolk (31 May 1912)

Canterbury (1919)

Basil also corresponded with Rev. R.P. Ashe in a letter dated 23 Dec. 1924: