Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJune 17, 1893
Place of BirthDwight, Muskoka, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMargaret Jane Waltenbery, mother, Marchmont PO, Ontario
Trade / CallingPainter
ReligionSalvation Army
Service Details
Regimental Number408629
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion60th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentMarchmont, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentSeptember 11, 1915
Age at Enlistment22
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathFebruary 14, 1954
Age at Death60
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Waltenbery, Arthur Henry

Although he gave Bracebridge, Ontario as his place of birth on his attestation papers, Arthur Henry Waltenbery was born in nearby Dwight, Muskoka, Ontario on 17 June 1893. His father George Waltenbery, a carpenter by trade, and mother Margaret Jane McIlwain had married in 1882 in Huntsville. Children born to the couple were Emily Jane (1883-1914), George Lewis (1885-1974), Edward Thomas (Jan 1887-May 1887), Melinda Agnes (1888-1913), Rose Margaret (May 1891- Sep 1891), Arthur, Albert Victor (May 1895- Sep 1895), Elizabeth Ann (1897-1984), and Ada Adeline (Feb 1901-Mar 1902). Over the years the family lived in a few places throughout the Muskoka and by 1911 had relocated to Chamberlain, Nipissing.

With occupation given as painter Arthur signed his attestation papers in Niagara, Ontario on 11 September 1915. With blue eyes and black hair, he was 22 years of age. As a Private with the 37th Battalion he embarked from Halifax aboard the Lapland on 27 November 1915. Once in England he was transferred to the 12th Reserve Battalion in March of 1916, followed by a transfer to the 60th Battalion, taken on strength on the 8th of May. Arriving at the unit on the 30th, Arthur suffered serious gunshot wounds to the head and neck just four days later and was invalided to England on the 6th of June. His service in the battlefield had come to an end.

In England Arthur spent time at the North Evington Military Hospital in Leicester followed by four months in the Canadian Convalescent Hospital in Woodcote Park in Epsom. Upon discharge in October of 1916, Arthur returned to Shoreham where he was attached to the 22nd and then 23rd Reserve Battalions. However his recovery was incomplete and he continued to have difficulties with aftermath of the injuries.

On 24 March 1917 Arthur married Bessie Gertrude Fairminer in Ashtead, Surrey. Bessie had been born in 1887 in Worcester, Surrey. For the 1891 census she was listed as a visitor with the Binfield family in Kingston, Surrey, in 1901 she was working as a servant with the Skinner family in Epsom, and by 1911 she was a laundry maid for the Taylor family who ran a laundry business in Ashtead. Arthur, and possibly Bessie, embarked from  Liverpool on  22 June 1917 on the Metagama as Arthur was to continue with his convalescence in Toronto.

Upon discharge in September of 1917 the couple gave their address as Orillia where they were probably living with Arthur’s parents. They gave birth to a son John Oliver (Jack) on 14 February 1918 followed by four more children, Arthur, Cyril, Violet, and Isabel.  By 1926 the family had moved to Midland, Ontario where Arthur found work as a decorator.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Jack served as a Warrant Officer Class 2 (pilot) with the 104 RAF Squadron during WW2. In the last quarter of 1941 he married Hilda Fawcett in Manchester, England. On 13 July 1942 he was killed in action when his plane was shot down in Libya. He is interred in the Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery, As Sallum, Egypt.

By 1945 Arthur had moved to Kenora, Ontario and found work as a painter and decorator. It appears that he and Bessie had divorced and he later married Laura Byers, widow of WW1 veteran Henry Byers of Kenora. The daughter of Adolphus and Olive (née Atkinson) Vandall, Laura was born in 1921 in Kenora. The couple gave birth to three daughters, Margaret, Linda, and Janet. Predeceased by his mother Margaret in 1946 and his father George in 1951, both in Orillia, Bessie in 1953 in Midland, Arthur died on 14 February 1954 in Kenora. He is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, his gravemarker replaced in 2015. His surname is spelled as Waltenbury on both markers. Laura later married WW1 veteran Ford Fredrickson Day. She died on 19 February 1972 and is also interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

by Judy Stockham

Waltenbery-Arthur-Henry-1 Waltenbury-Arthur Waltenbery-Arthur-Henry-3

obituary: Winnipeg Tribune, 16 February 1954



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