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Sir William Walton

In the north choir aisle of Westminster Abbey, near the monument to William Croft, is a memorial stone for the eminent composer Sir William Walton. The stone was unveiled by Lady Walton during his memorial service on 20th July 1983. The music at the service included a poem by John Masefield 'Where does the uttered music go?' set to music by Walton in 1946. Organ music from his Richard III and Crown Imperial was played. Lord Olivier and Vivian Ellis took part. The inscription reads:

1902
WILLIAM
WALTON
O M
1983

William Turner Walton was born in Oldham, Lancashire, on 29th March 1902, a son of Charles Walton, a singing teacher, and his wife Louisa (Turner). He was a chorister at Christ Church cathedral school, Oxford and composed a few pieces while he was there. With Osbert Sitwell's family he travelled to Italy and in 1921 he composed Facade, which made his name. For the 1937 coronation of George VI at the Abbey he composed Crown Imperial. He also wrote film music, notably for The First of the Few and Henry V. In 1948 he married Susana Gil Passo and was knighted in 1951. His Orb and Sceptre march and a Te Deum were written for the 1953 coronation. Many works followed and he became a member of the Order of Merit in 1967. He died on 8th March 1983 at his villa on the island of Ischia, Naples and his ashes were buried in the garden there.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

Born

29th March 1902

Died

8th March 1983

Memorial

20th July 1983

Field

Musician; composer

Location

North Choir Aisle

Memorial Type

Stone

Material Type

Stone

Sir William Walton
Sir William Walton memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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I feel very privileged to work here. I take so much pride in working for a beautiful place like the Abbey, it’s unique.

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Alex - Abbey Marshal

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