DIVISIONAL UNIT: 3rd Canadian Infantry Division
7th Infantry Brigade
49th Battalion - Edmonton
Canadian Infantry Corps
AWARDS: Military Cross
RESIDENCE: Toronto – Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: August 26, 1891
Saltford - Colborne Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: September 29, 1918 27 years 1 month
CEMETERY: Bucquoy Road Cemetery – Ficheux –
Pas de Calais – France
II K 32
PARENTS: Mr. William and Susanna Walter – Goderich - Ontario
Occupation: Student Religion: Presbyterian
Enlistment: Clinton – December 22, 1915 – 161st Huron Battalion
Enlistment Age: 24 years 4 months
Lieutenant Walter and the 161st Battalion upon their arrival in Halifax boarded the SS Lapland for their journey overseas and arrived in Liverpool on November 11, 1916.
From the time of his arrival until February 23, 1918 he was with the 161st Regiment win the 4th Reserve Battalion at Whitley Camp – Surrey. Then on April 15, 1918 he went overseas to the continent and at the end of the month transferred to the 49th Battalion. He then joined them in the field on August 19th.
Approximately 7 days + after joining is unit he was awarded his Military Cross and a month later he would fall on the battlefield.
The Battalion was near Bullecourt during night of September 28/29 but they suffered heavily from heavy machine-gun fire and gassing. The morning advance had “A & B” Companies as right and left assault with “D” Company in support and “C” Company in reserve. The barrage began at 08:00 hours and it was scattered and weak. About 200 yards into advance enemy machine-gun fire encountered causing casualties. These position were taken out and then 50 yards from railway more enemy fire encountered. The right flank of “A” Company swung through the valley and outflanked the enemy and the advance went ahead to a point south of the railway on the left flank. Heavy enemy fire now coming from the front and both flanks and there was no sign of the Company on the right flank. Advance stalled with very heavy casualties. At 11:00 hours the 42nd Battalion was covering the left flank and the situation on right was obscure with heavy fire coming from that flank and causing heavy casualties. At midday the enemy counter-attacked on left flank in large numbers but were repulsed. By 1 pm 3 Lewis guns were protecting the right flank. By 4 pm the enemy had vacated St. Olle but enemy fire was coming in from the flanks.
Lieutenant Walter was wounded to the abdomen and neck during the attack on Cambrai and moved to No. 33 Casualty Clearing station where he died of his wounds.
He was educated at Saltford Public School and Goderich Collegiate Institute and then to University College where he achieved his First Class Certificate. He was an honours student in mathematics and physics. He was on the College Y.M.C.A. Executive. Prior to his enlistment he taught at Brown Public School in Toronto. He then went overseas during the month of October 1916. He is remembered on the Ontario Teacher Roll of Honour Lieutenant Walter is remembered on the Honour Roll of Service at the University of Toronto. Lieutenant Walter joined the 49th Battalion while they were stationed at the front in May of 1918, and he served through the Battle of Amiens.
He was awarded his Military Cross after his death for bravery and showing initiative during the Battle of Arras – August 26-29 – when he took command of his Company at a very critical moment after his superiors had become casualties. When his Company was held up by enemy artillery and machine-gun fire he reconnoitred the ground and brought the Company to a position where it could continue the advance.
The Military Cross Citation for Lieutenant Walters reads as follows…..For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to his duty during the operations east of Arras from August 26-29th, 1918. When the company commander and second in command both had become casualties he took command of his company and handled his men with skill and judgement. When the company was held up by heavy enemy machine gun and shell fire, he personally reconnoitred the ground, being continually in the open and in doing so, and by his energy, courage and initiative placed his company in a position from which they were able to continue with their advance.