Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 10, 1891
Place of BirthAlloa, Clackmannan
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinAnnie Coltman, mother, Alloa, Scotland
Trade / CallingFitter
Service Details
Regimental Number781720
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion46th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentMoose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 6, 1916
Age at Enlistment24
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMarch 10, 1969
Age at Death78
Buried AtSouris-Glenwood Cemetery, RM of Glenwood, Manitoba

Coltman, William Whitehead

William Whitehead Coltman was born on 10 February 1891 in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland. His father John Coltman, a wool packer, was from Buchlyvie while his mother Ann Hutton was from the Dunmore-Airth area, both in Stirlingshire. The couple married on 26 November 1896 in Alloa. Their first child, John was born the next year, followed by Charles (1889), William, Margaret (1894), and James (1900). By the 1911 Scotland census William was working as a mechanic and living at home. He immigrated to Canada the next year, arriving in Quebec aboard the Hesperian on the 6th of May, destination given as Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

With occupation given as fitter and his mother Annie back in Alloa as next of kin, William signed his attestation papers in Moose Jaw on 6 January 1916. Organized in November of 1915 under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel F Pawlett, the 128th Battalion recruited in the Moose Jaw district. While training at Camp Hughes that summer William was hospitalized for a few days in July, suffering from quinsy, a complication of tonsillitis. Later declared fit, he embarked from Halifax with the 128th Battalion on 15 August 1916 aboard the Grampian, rank of Private.

Once in England William was placed on command to the Canadian Rifle Depot at Greenwich on the 12th of September, taken on strength on October 24th. On 6 December 1916 he was transferred to the Canadian Arms Inspection and Repair Depot at Bramshott, on to the 19th Reserve Battalion in late April 1917, and then to the 15th Reserve Battalion on October 14th. In November William was struck off strength to the 46th Battalion, joining the unit in the field on the 23rd. Having arrived in France that August, the 46th (South Saskatchewan) Battalion fought with the 10 Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division.

On 2 January 1918 William was admitted to the No 12 Canadian Field Ambulance suffering from double tonsillitis, discharged on the 6th, the day he was awarded one Good Conduct Badge. On 11 May 1918, he was admitted to the No 11 Canadian Field Ambulance with PUO, fever of unknown origin, transferred to the No 26 General Hospital in Etaples on the 14th and then on to the Barnet War Hospital in London on the 21st. On 1 June 1918 William was moved to the Military Convalescent Hospital at Woodcote Park in Epsom, discharged on the 9th of August and granted a leave until the 23rd. During that fall William went through a series of transfers and completed and passed bombing and rifle bombing courses tests. With the end of the war, he embarked from Liverpool aboard the Regina on 12 December 1918, arriving in Quebec on the 22nd. He was granted a leave from 26 December 1918-9 January 1919, and was discharged from service in Regina on the 11th, intended residence given as Moose Jaw.

At some point William moved to Souris, Manitoba where he married Clara May Udell on 3 June 1925. The daughter of Charles and Susan (née Rogers) Udell, Clara had been born in Souris on 18 November 1903. The couple gave birth to son Roy in 1927 followed by daughter Susanna Ruth in 1932. Sadly Ruth only lived for eleven days. William was employed with the federal government in the Railway Mail Service in Souris for forty six years, retiring in 1956. While in Souris he was a member of the United Church, an honorary life member of the Glenwood Masonic Lodge, and of the Souris Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. A June 1941 Winnipeg Free Press newspaper article reported of a Decoration service held by the town of Souris, with Captain William Coltman leading the Legionnaires and the Manitoba Volunteer Reserves. After retirement William and Clara moved to Kenora, Ontario where their son Roy and family were living.

William died on 10 March 1969 in the Lake of the Woods District Hospital in Kenora. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Clara, son Roy of Kenora, two grandchildren, and his brother Jim of Alloa in Scotland. In October of 1968 Jim had travelled to Canada where the two brothers were reunited after not seeing each other for fifty two years. William’s wife Clara died in 1982 and together they are interred in the Souris-Glenwood Cemetery in the RM of Glenwood on the outskirts of Souris.

by Judy Stockham

grave marker photo: courtesy of  Amy Hickmott on

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