On this, his 80th birthday, Dr Thomas James Walker was granted the Freedom of the city of Peterborough - the first Peterborough-born recipient of this honour. His doctor father - also Thomas - came to Peterborough from Glasgow in 1819, and his son followed in his footsteps. In any study of nineteenth century Peterborough and beyond, young Doctor Tom's name is likely to appear. He built up and maintained a large practice at No. 35 Westgate. There is a plaque on the wall there marking his presence. In 1862, he was appointed to the post of surgeon at the infirmary and held that post until 1906. A great many people owe their lives to his skills and dedication. In his spare time, Walker became interested in both the local and archaeological history of the area. His archaeological finds and acquisitions formed a base for the Peterborough Museum Society collection, and he became their president in 1892. Not far outside was the Napoleonic Prisoner of War camp at Norman Cross and his detailed book of the history of the camp and its people, published in 1913, still remains the keystone to modern-day research on the subject. (Liquorice, Mary, Posh Folk: Notable Personalities (and a Donkey) Associated with Peterborough, Cambridgeshire Libraries, 1991)
Taken from The Peterborough Book of Days by Brian Jones, The History Press, 2014.