The oldest of Churchill’s Abandoned Prisoners, Warrant Officer Fred Walters, spent a forlorn 50th birthday, on 17th November 1919, stuck in a train at Barabinski, looking after British women and children fleeing from the Red Terror.
Walters was born in Birmingham and emigrated with his wife, Emily, to Canada where they parented eight children. In 1916, he volunteered to join the Army and ended up in the British Railway Mission in Siberia in 1919. He was famed for his “ramrod straight bearing” and was an important father figure to the younger soldiers, worried about what would happen to them.
Uncle Charlie, as he was known, is standing on the left in the photograph below.