|Date of Birth||September 9, 1898|
|Place of Birth||Birmingham, Warwickshire|
|Next of Kin||Mrs. Emily Walters (mother), Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Ripper/locomotive fireman|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||November 13, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||17|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||May 10, 1974|
|Age at Death||75|
Private Henry Walters enlisted in Kenora, Ontario in November 1915, at age 17, and served for three years in Canada, the UK, France and Belgium.
Henry was born on 9 September 1898 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. His parents, Frederick Walters and Emily Golding, were married in Birmingham in 1895 and their first six children were born in England: Owen, Lily, Henry, Frederick, Florence and Phyllis. The family immigrated to Canada in the spring of 1908, embarking from Liverpool on 11 March on the Lake Erie and arriving in St. John, New Brunswick twelve days later. Fred’s occupation was listed as mechanic and their destination was Kenora. At the time of the 1911 census Fred was employed as a woodworker in a box factory. Two more children were born in Kenora, Walter James in 1911 and Gwendoline in 1913.
Henry enlisted in Kenora on 13 November 1915, when local recruiting started for the 94th Overseas Battalion. He was only 17 years old but he passed himself off as 19. His unit trained in Kenora over the winter and his father Fred signed up in the spring, in March 1916. The recruits were sent to Port Arthur on 25 May to join the rest of the battalion and on 9 June they left for the east coast. They spent a short time at Valcartier Camp in Quebec before embarking from Halifax on 28 June on the SS Olympic. In England the men were absorbed into reserve battalions to be used as reinforcements for other units.
Henry was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion on 13 July. Three months later he was drafted to the 16th Battalion (Canadian Scottish), which was in the 3rd Brigade, and sent to France. When he joined his new unit in mid-October they had just been relieved at the Somme, where they suffered heavy casualties, and they were being moved north to the Vimy front. In December Henry became ill, suffering from inflammation in his hands and feet, and he was out of action for seven weeks. When he recovered he was attached to the 3rd Brigade headquarters and he served with them from January to October 1917. He was on leave for the first two weeks in November and he rejoined the 16th Battalion just after the Battle of Passchendaele.
Henry’s unit spent the winter with the Canadian Corps in the Lens-Arras sector. On 21 April 1918 they moved into the front line near Gavrelle and a large raid was planned for the night of 27-28 April. The raid was carried out in three separate operations with 150 men and officers taking part, and there were about 20 casualties. Henry suffered a gunshot wound to his left forearm on 28 April, possibly during the raid. He was sent to No. 7 General Hospital in Etaples then evacuated to England. He spent most of May at the Military Hospital in Colchester. From there he was transferred to the Manor War Hospital in Epsom, then to Woodcote Park Convalescent Hospital. In November he was found fit for duty and he was assigned to the 11th Reserve Battalion. By then the Armistice had been signed and Henry returned to Canada early in 1919, embarking on the SS Olympic on 11 January and arriving in Halifax a week later. He was given two weeks landing leave and discharged on 10 February in Regina. His father Fred Walters arrived home at the same time. His brother Owen Walters served overseas with the 75th Battalion and he returned to Canada in February.
Henry’s mother had moved to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan during the war. When the 1921 census was taken Henry was living in Moose Jaw with his parents and working as a locomotive fireman. He was married in 1921 or 1922 to Lois Alexandra Hannent. Lois was born in March 1900 in Norfolk, England. Her father, Louis Alexander Hannent, died when she was three days old. She came to Canada with her widowed mother Rosetta (née Bullard) in July 1912 and they lived in Brandon, Manitoba where a relative was farming.
Around 1923 Henry, Lois and Rosetta moved to Michigan and they settled in the town of Ecorse in Wayne County. Henry found work there in a steel mill. He and his wife had two children, Phyllis born in Canada in 1922 and Frederick born in Michigan in 1928. In the late 1930s they moved from Ecorse to the neighbouring community of Lincoln Park.
Henry died in Trenton, Wayne County, Michigan on 10 May 1974, at age 75. His wife passed away the following spring.
By Becky Johnson