Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 5, 1892
Place of BirthKeewatin, Ontario
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMary Walker (mother), Box 157, Keewatin, Ontario
Trade / CallingTimber Buyer
ReligionPresbyterian
Service Details
Regimental Number2383429
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion11th Reserve Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Place of EnlistmentPort Arthur, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentRainy River, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 10, 1918
Age at Enlistment25
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details

Walker, Samuel

Private Samuel Walker was the son of William Walker and Mary Ogston Christie of Keewatin, Ontario. William was born in Derbyshire, England and Mary in Aberdeen, Scotland. They both came to Canada in the mid-1880s and they were married in Keewatin in 1887. They had at least five children: Alexander Christie (1889), Samuel (5 April 1892), Mary Ellen (1894), William (1897) and Margaret Ella (1905). Margaret died at age one and she’s buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. William (Sr.) worked as a labourer and later as a lumberman and carpenter. His oldest son, Alexander, passed away in August 1915, at age 26. He’s buried next to his infant sister in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

The war started in August 1914 and conscription was introduced in Canada in the summer of 1917. Samuel and his brother William were both called up for service. Samuel was living in Rainy River at the time, working as timber buyer. He reported as required under the Military Service Act and had his medical in Rainy River in October 1917. He was called up in Port Arthur on 10 January 1918 and assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment. After just six weeks of training he was on his way overseas, embarking from Halifax on 19 February on the SS Cretic and arriving at Liverpool about two weeks later.

Samuel was transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion and he served in the UK for the next eight months. He had suffered an accidental gunshot wound in 1912 and it left him with scars on his back, right shoulder and right arm. He was weaker on his right side due to the injury and it affected his training. The Armistice ended hostilities on the Western Front on 11 November and Samuel returned to Canada the same month, sailing from Southampton on 23 November and arriving at Halifax five days later. He was discharged on demobilization on 3 January 1919 in Winnipeg. His brother William had been called up in April 1918 and he served in Canada for a year and a half.

When the 1921 census was taken Samuel and William were both living with their parents in Keewatin and both working at a local sawmill. Samuel later moved to Thunder Bay. His parents died in 1953, his father in April and his mother in August. They are buried next to their children in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. William Jr. passed away in 1973 and he’s also interred there in the family plot. Samuel was still living in Thunder Bay at the time but his date of death and place of burial are not yet known.

Samuel and William are commemorated on the R. Douglas Fraser (Town of Keewatin) Roll of Honour and the Municipality of Keewatin “For King and Country” 1914-1918 plaque.

By Becky Johnson


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