Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of Birth1863
Place of BirthSheffield, Yorkshire
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinEdith Mappin, wife, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingPlumber
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number148770
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion78th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentMarch 16, 1916
Theatre of ServiceEngland
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMay 26, 1926
Age at Death63
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Mappin, Walter

Although he gave his date of birth on his WW1 attestation papers as 15 July 1874 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, Walter Mappin was likely born in 1863, birth registered in the 3rd quarter in Ecclesall Bierslow, a township within Sheffield. Over the years various documents show that Walter went by the forename of Walter, William, and Jonathon/John Walter. His father John Mappin, a serving knife cutler, was from Ireland while his mother Eliza Allen was from Sheffield. The couple married during the last quarter of 1847 in the registration district of Rotherham in Yorkshire. Known children born to the family were Alfred (1849), Averilda (1851), Joseph (1854), Catherine (1855), Emma (1857), Clara (1859), Rawson (1860), and Walter. By the time of the 1871 census in Ecclesall Bierslow, mother Eliza had died, likely in 1864 or 1865. Household members listed on the census were father John and children Joseph, Emma, Clara, Rawson, and Walter. It appears that John died during the last quarter of 1877.

By the time of the 1881 census Walter was incarcerated in Her Majesty’s Prison Wakefield in Yorkshire, convicted of the crime of stealing a pair of reins that January. Discharged in April, Walter signed his attestation papers on 31 October 1881 with the 2nd West Yorkshire Battalion in York, Yorkshire, occupation given as cutler. Walter served at home until 16 December 1882, in East India from 17 December 1882 – 29 March 1889, and at home 30 March 1889 – 30 October 1893 when he was discharged in course of having completed his service. He had been hospitalized a number of times during his service, mainly for the treatment of venereal diseases. Upon discharge his conduct was given as ‘indifferent, addicted to drink’.

It appears that Walter married Edith Sanderson during the 2nd quarter of 1889 in Sheffield. Edith was likely the daughter of Edwin and Susanna (née Smith) Sanderson, born as Eva Sanderson in 1862 in Sheffield. Along with her parents she immigrated to the St Catharines area in Canada around 1871 but had returned to England with her mother and siblings by the time of the 1881 England census. Her father stayed in Canada, remarried and eventually moved to Kenora where he died in 1916. Over the years Edith’s forename was given interchangeably as Eva or Edith. At the time of the 1891 census Walter and Eva were living in Heely in the registration district of Ecclesall Bierslow, Walter’s occupation given as labourer. The 1901 census found the couple listed as Jonathon Walter and Eva, living in Norton in the district of Ecclesall Bierslow, Walter’s occupation given as ‘navvy labourer’. The 1911 England census listed Walter and Edith as living in Ecclesall, Walter’s name given as William on the census document. The couple did not have any children, with Walter/William working as a grave digger. In 1913 Walter and Edith immigrated to Canada, arriving in Quebec aboard the Tunisian on 18 July. Walter’s occupation was given as farm labourer on the passenger list and the destination for the couple given as Kenora, Ontario.

Walter signed his attestation papers on 16 March 1916 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His occupation was given as plumber and his wife Edith in Kenora as next of kin. As a Private with the 78th Battalion, he arrived in England on 29 May 1916 aboard the Empress of Britain. That July Walter was transferred to the 51st Battalion, name of the battalion changed to the Garrison Duty Battalion in November. Although health details are unknown, it was decided that Walter would be returned to Canada, embarking on 20 February 1917 on the Northland. Once in Canada he was admitted to a convalescent home in Winnipeg. Walter was discharged as no longer fit for war service on 13 August 1917. His intended residence was given as Winnipeg.

Listed as William on the 1921 census, Walter and Edith were living in St James, now part of Winnipeg, at the time, Walter’s occupation given as car repairer. Living with the couple was nephew George Wrightson, son of Edith’s younger sister Clara. Walter died on 26 May 1926 in St James, name given on his death record as John Walter Mappin. An estate notice in the Winnipeg Free Press in July 1926 gave his occupation as carpenter. Walter is interred in Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg, name given on his military marker as John W Nappin. Edith, forename given as Eva, returned to England in 1929, arriving in Liverpool aboard the Montrose on 2 March. She died during the first quarter of 1933 in the registration district of Ecclesall Bierslow.

By Judy Stockham

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