Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 14, 1892
Place of BirthManitoba
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinJulius Muggaberg (father), Fort Frances P.O., Ontario
Trade / CallingSwitchman
Service Details
Regimental Number2383455
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Place of EnlistmentPort Arthur, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKenora P.O., Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 10, 1918
Age at Enlistment25
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details

Muggaberg, Walter George

Private Walter George Muggaberg was the son of Julius Muggaberg Jr. and Margaret Ann Park. Julius was likely born in the Northwest Territories or in the Red River Settlement, which became part of Manitoba. His father was from Norway and his mother was Scottish Métis. By 1881 his family had moved to Rat Portage, Ontario. Julius and Margaret were married in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) on 16 January 1884. Walter was born on 14 February 1892 and he may have been their only child. Sadly, his mother passed away in May 1897, when he was three years old.

Julius was married again in Rat Portage in July 1899. His second wife, Lydia Eliza McKelvie (née Biddison), was a widow with at least eight children, aged from 4 to 16. When the 1901 census was taken Julius and Lydia were living in the municipality of Alberton, near Fort Frances, where they were farming. Lydia’s eight children were at home and Walter Muggaberg was listed as an adopted son, born 14 February 1892 in Manitoba. Julius and Lydia had at least two more children, Julius (born in 1901, died at age 10 months) and Isabella Myrtle (born in 1903). In 1910 Walter spent some time in the state of Washington, working as a labourer on an irrigation project. The 1910 U.S. census recorded his birth place as Canada. In 1912 he travelled to International Falls, Minnesota and the border crossing record listed his birth place as Westbourne, Manitoba.

The war started in August 1914 and conscription was introduced in Canada three years later. Walter registered as required and had his medical in Kenora on 23 November 1917. His address was Kenora P.O., his occupation was switchman and next of kin was his father Julius in Fort Frances. Walter gave Kansas City, Missouri as his place of birth although this seems unlikely as other records place his birth in Manitoba. He was called up for service on 10 January 1918 and assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment in Port Arthur. Walter was absent without leave from 21 January to 11 February 1918 and struck off strength as a deserter effective 11 February. His father came from a large family and several of Walter’s relatives served during the war including his uncle Thomas Muggaberg and his cousins George Allen Muggaberg, Julius Begg, Duncan Begg, James Begg (died in the war), Louis Lalois and Frederick Lalois.

At this time nothing is known about Walter’s life after the war. His father Julius died in 1928 and his stepmother Lydia in 1934. They are both buried in Fort Frances Municipal Cemetery along with their daughter Myrtle (Mrs. Jack Pelletier) and other family members. Walter’s Muggaberg grandparents and other relatives are buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

By Becky Johnson

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