|Date of Birth||July 24, 1894|
|Place of Birth||District of Kenora, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Freda Stratton, (wife), 475 Notre Dame Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Locomotive fireman|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||475 Notre Dame Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||March 21, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||21|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||March 16, 1960|
|Age at Death||65|
|Buried At||Riverton Crest Cemetery, Tukwila, Washington, U.S.A.|
Walter Arthur Stratton was born on 24 July 1894, the son of Richard Stratton and Jennie Eyoutt. His birth was registered in the town of Rat Portage (now called Kenora), in northwestern Ontario. Another son, Roy Calvin Joseph, followed in 1896 and a daughter, Ella, was born in the Dryden area in 1900. When the 1901 census was taken the family was living in Armour near Parry Sound. A second daughter, Edna Gladys, was born in the Dryden area in 1904. Over those years Richard was a miner, labourer and blacksmith.
Around 1909 Walter’s family moved to the U.S. and settled in Spokane, Washington. Sometime after leaving school Walter returned to Kenora and found work with the Canadian Pacific Railway. He was married in Kenora on 25 January 1916. His wife, Freda Yedashkin, was born in Russia and grew up in Bender Hamlet, Manitoba, where her father Louis farmed.
The war was in its second year when Walter got married and he enlisted on 21 March 1916 in Winnipeg. His occupation was locomotive fireman and he gave his address as 475 Notre Dame Avenue in Winnipeg. Next of kin was his wife at the same address. Walter was a tall man – 6’4” – but slender, with brown eyes and dark hair. He signed up with the 184th Battalion, which was based in Winnipeg. The unit trained at Camp Hughes over the summer but Walter was absent without leave starting on 1 June 1916. He was discharged from service as a deserter on 25 September.
After his brief service Walter and Freda moved to the state of Washington. Their son, Eugene Richard, was born there in the spring of 1917. The U.S. entered the war in April 1917 and Walter’s draft card gave his address as Whitefish, Montana. He was a locomotive fireman employed by the Great Northern Railway Company at the time. He claimed exemption from service in order to support his wife and son. Another son, Arthur Walter, was born in Franklin County, Washington in 1919, followed by a daughter Elaine about two years later. Sometime around or after Elaine’s birth Walter appears to have been divorced or widowed.
Walter was married again on 15 December 1924 in Vancouver, British Columbia. His wife Anna Naemi Hakansson, usually known as Ina, was born in 1897 in Ryssby, Sweden. Walter returned to Washington with Ina and they had a daughter, Joyce Velma, in 1928. Over the next 15 years of so Walter worked in mills, logging and trucking and was employed by the Northern Pacific Railway for several years. In 1942 when he completed his Second World War draft card he was working at the railway’s yard office in Seattle. He and his wife had divorced in 1940.
Walter passed away in Seattle on 16 March 1960, at age 65, and Ina died in 1988. They are both buried in Riverton Crest Cemetery in Tukwila, King County, Washington.
By Becky Johnson