Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthNovember 4, 1890
Place of BirthLondon
CountryEngland
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMother: Sarah Collings, Keewatin, Ontario
Trade / CallingAuto body builder
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number199074
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion28th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKeewatin, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMarch 6, 1916
Age at Enlistment25
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Decorations and MedalsMilitary Medal
Death Details
Date of Death19581022
Age at Death68
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
Plot36E-22-3

Collings, Walter Frederick

Walter Frederick Collings was born on 04 November 1890 in London, England. His parents were William Collings (a foreman in mineral water works) and Ann Sarah Bennett.  Siblings included William (born 1878), John (born 1876), Edward (born 1886) and Charles (born c. 1889).

Walter’s father, William, had died by 1901 and the family was living in Bermondsey, London, England.  His brother, Edward who married Laura Hewett in 1905, immigrated to Keewatin, Ontario, Canada in March of 1908.  Walter and his mother followed him in June of 1911.  In England Walter had worked as an ‘auto body builder’ or a ‘coach maker’.  In Keewatin he got employment at the Lake of the Woods Milling Company.

Walter enlisted with the 94th Battalion in near by Kenora, Ontario on 06  March 1916.  After a short time in Port Arthur, the battalion embarked from Halifax on 28 June 1916.  When they arrived in England Walter was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion until being assigned to the 28th Battalion on 24 August 1916.  He served with the 28th Battalion in France and Belgium for twenty-five months.   During that time he was awarded a Military Medal.   His citation card states ‘For great courage and devotion to duty at Thelus on April 9, 1917.  He was employed as a stretcher bearer and performed his duties in a most devoted manner.  Notwithstanding heavy enemy fire he continued to tend the wounded regardless of danger and was instrumental in saving many lives.‘ In October of 1918 Walter fractured his patella in his left leg in a ‘football accident’.   He spent almost three months in hospital for treatment and healing.   Walter returned to Canada in March of 1919 and received his official discharge April 1st in Winnipeg.

Walter returned to Keewatin and his job at the flour mill.   He worked there for forty-five years retiring in 1956 as a shipper foreman.   He was a member of Minnetonka Lodge No. 292, Keewatin and the Keewatin Legion.

Walter died on 22 October 1958 in the Kenora General Hospital.   He is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora in the same plot as his mother Anne Sarah Collings and her sister Emily Rachel Green.

Walter is commemorated on the Town of Keewatin Plaque and the Lake of the Woods Milling Company Roll of Honour; both formerly found in the Keewatin Legion.

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