Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthAugust 17, 1869
Place of BirthLondon
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMinnie Burton, wife, Keewatin, Ontario
Trade / CallingPacker
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number820742
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion141st Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKeewatin, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMay 22, 1916
Age at Enlistment46
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 17, 1956
Age at Death87
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Burton, Walter Herbert

Although he gave his date of birth as 17 August 1873 on his attestation papers, Walter Herbert (also spelled Hubert) Burton was born in 1869, birth registered during the third quarter in the Whitechapel Registration District in London. The year is also supported by his gravemarker inscription as well as his age at time of death. His father was Samuel Pierson Burton while his mother was Elizabeth Dunning. The couple had married in 1855 in the registration district of St Giles, London. The 1871 England census found the family living in Christchurch Spitalfields, Whitechapel where father Samuel was working as a coal dealer. Household members were parents Samuel and Elizabeth, and children Samuel (b abt 1857), Elizabeth (b abt 1858), Clara (b abt 1863), Kate (b 1867), and Walter. By the 1881 England census the family had moved to the Newington St Mary area of London. For the 1891 England census Walter was living with his mother and brother Samuel and working as a salesman; the 1901 census listed him as a commercial traveller.

On 31 December 1904, Walter married Minnie Catherine Cant in the St Agnes, Southwark Parish in London. The daughter of John and Harriet (Brook) Cant, Minnie was born in 1879 in the Bermondsey area of London. By the 1901 census she was living in Newington and working as a domestic. The couple settled in Mitcham in Surrey where Walter was working as a commercial watches and clocks traveller. The couple gave birth to their first child, a son Walter Frederick, in 1905, followed by a daughter, Doris Irene, in 1906.

Walter, Minnie, and the two children were found on the passenger list of the Tunisian that arrived in Quebec on 23 June 1912, destination given as Keewatin, Ontario. Walter found work as a packer at the local flour mill. A daughter Esme was born in 1913.

Walter, likely age 46, signed his attestation papers on 22 May 1916 in Keewatin, giving his wife Minnie as next of kin and occupation as packer. Based in Fort Frances, Ontario, the 141st Battalion had began recruiting in late 1915 in the Rainy River District of northwestern Ontario. He attended the 11th Bombing Course in Winnipeg in late February of 1917, but was discharged as medically unfit for military service on the first of June, apparent age of 49.

Walter returned to Keewatin and the family was found living in Slabtown, Keewatin for the 1921 Canada census. By then son Walter was also working at the flour mill as a sweeper. In 1922 there was a new addition to the family, daughter Joyce. Walter’s wife Minnie died in 1926 and he later married widow Hattie Agnes (née Willerton) Andrew on 4 December 1934 in Keewatin. Born in 1890 in the RM of Rosedale, Manitoba, Hattie was the daughter of George and Elizabeth Willerton. She had married John Andrew in 1909 in Rosedale. At the time of her second marriage Hattie was living in Keewatin, occupation given as housekeeper on the marriage record.

Walter retired from the Lake of the Woods Milling Company in 1944 and at some point he and Hattie moved to Winnipeg. Walter died on 17 October 1956 at his residence at 367 Kennedy Street, Winnipeg. Along with Minnie, he is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora. He was survived by his wife Hattie, son Walter, daughters Mrs Doris (Robert) McDowall, Mrs Esme (Harry) Carlson, and Mrs Joyce (William) Greenacre, stepsons Norman, Robert, and Wilbur Andrew, and stepdaughter Mrs E Miller. He was also survived by eighteen grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Hattie died in the St Vital Hospital in Winnipeg in 1969 and is interred in Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg.

Walter is commemorated for his service on the Lake of the Woods Milling Company plaque, the Municipality of Keewatin For King and Country plaque, and the St James Anglican Church plaque.

by Judy Stockham

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