Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 12, 1883
Place of BirthGrenville, Ontario
CountryCanada
Marital StatusMarried
Next of Kinwife, Margaret Baldwin of Norman, Ontario
Trade / Callingcarpenter
ReligionPresbyterian
Service Details
Regimental Number439061
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion52nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentNorman, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentDecember 28, 1914
Age at Enlistment31
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 7, 1952
Age at Death68
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
Plot34E-33-3

Baldwin, Clarence Walter

Walter Baldwin was born Clarence Walter Baldwin in Grenville, Ontario on 12 December 1883.  His parents were Eli and Minerva Ann Baldwin.  The 1901 Canadian Census shows his family living in Elizabethtown, Brockville, Ontario with his mother’s parents John and Sarah Mccready.  Father, Eli, is a farmer and Walter is listed as a farmer’s son.  Siblings included: Charles Albert (1888 -1968), Annie May (1890 – 1948), Florence Flassy (1895 – 1967), Frederick Pierce (1897 – 1958) and Minnie M. (1901 – 1985).

Walter moved west and spent 10 years with the Canadian Mounted Rifles – three years ‘in colours’ and seven years in the reserves.   He married Margaret (Maggie) Gilmour on 02 November 1910 in Thompson, Manitoba. By 1911 he and Maggie were in the Kenora area with Walter working at the Keewatin Lumber Company sawmill. The couple gave birth to daughter Margaret Minerva that August in Norman where the family resided.

When WWI was declared, Walter was the first man from Norman to enlist.  On 28 December 1914 he joined the 52nd Battalion in Kenora.  In June of 1915 his unit left for Port Arthur, Ontario to join up with the other units of the 52nd Battalion. They sailed for England on 04 September 1915 aboard the S.S. Missanabie.  Walter spent six months with the 12th Reserve Battalion in Shorncliffe before being sent to France with the 4th Canadian Infantry Battalion in February of 1916.  During the battle of the Somme Walter was wounded at Courcelette.  He received shrapnel wounds to his back.  As a result, he spent seven days at #6 General Hospital in Rouen, eleven weeks at 1st Southern General Hospital in Birmingham, and two months at Oxbridge Convalescent Home. He refused an operation to remove a bullet from his back and suffered impaired use of his right leg and other medical problems.  A medical board deemed he was no longer fit for military service and Walter returned to Canada in October 1917.  His official discharge from duty came on 31 December 1917.

Walter returned to Norman and his job at the Keewatin Lumber Company.  He was an employee of the company for thirty years serving as a fireman and a stationary engineer.  After that he was the caretaker of the Norman school for two years. Walter retired from active work in 1950. Their daughter Margaret, age 14, died on 28 November 1925. He and Maggie were members of the Presbyterian Church.

Walter died at Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba on 07 August 1952 and Maggie in February of 1968. They are buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora.

Walter’s younger brother Frederick Pierce Baldwin also served in WWI.   He was a Sergeant with the 38th Battalion.

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