Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMarch 15, 1899
Place of BirthWinnipeg, Manitoba
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinArthur Edward Dodman, father, Hudson Bay Company, Edmonton, Alberta
Trade / CallingBank Clerk
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number911281
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion1st Canadian Mounted Rifles
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Mounted Rifles
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentEdmonton, Alberta
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 29, 1916
Age at Enlistment17
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathNovember 25, 1950
Age at Death51

Dodman, Walter Severn

Walter Severn Dodman was born on 15 March 1899 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His father Arthur Edward Dodman was from Stamford, Lincolnshire in England, immigrating to Canada in 1894 and arriving in Quebec aboard the Lake Ontario on 1 May. His mother Mary Thorpe was also from England, immigrating around 1891-92. The couple married on 22 April 1898 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Arthur soon found employment with the Hudson Bay Company, working as a clerk in Fort William, Ontario from 1901-1909, as manager from 1909-1911 in Kenora, Ontario, 1911-1914 in Lethbridge, Alberta, 1914-1918 in Edmonton, Alberta, 1918-1921 in Kamloops, British Columbia and then from 1921-1923 in the stores executive office in Winnipeg, 1923-1928 in the eastern buying agency in Montreal, then as manager 1928-1930 in Lethbridge and 1930-1932 in Kamloops before retiring. Children born to Arthur and Mary were Walter, Robert William (1901, Winnipeg), Frank Ernest (1905, Fort William), Florence Mary (1908, Fort William), and Alice Margaret (abt 1912, Lethbridge).

At age 17, Walter enlisted with the 196th Battalion (Western Universities) on 29 February 1916 in Edmonton, Alberta. Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the unit began recruiting during the winter of 1915/16 in universities throughout western Canada. Walter’s occupation was given as bank clerk and his father Arthur in Edmonton as next of kin. As a Private with the battalion, he arrived in England aboard the Southland on 11 November 1916. In early December Walter was transferred to the Signalling Base at Seaford, then back to the 196th Battalion by the end of the month. The battalion was absorbed by the 19th Reserve Battalion on 2 January 1917. In early February he was transferred to the 128th Battalion until returning to the 19th Reserve Battalion in late May. In October Walter was transferred to the 15th Reserve Battalion at Bramshott and then on to the Young Soldiers Battalion later that month. In March of 1918 he was awarded one good conduct badge. From 30 May to 20 June 1918 Walter served with the 45th Reserve Battalion before going overseas to join the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles that June. With the end of the war he returned to England in February 1919, and arrived back in Canada aboard the Baltic on 20 March. With rank of Private, Walter was discharged from service on demobilization on 24 March in Vancouver, intended residence given as Kamloops.

On 20 December 1926, in Winnipeg, Walter married Dorothy Florence Clark. Born on 15 November 1904 in Toronto, Ontario, Dorothy was the daughter of George Clark and Eliza Cotton. Her parents had married in 1904 in Toronto, moving to Winnipeg by the time of the 1911 census. A paint factory foreman, George had enlisted in February of 1916 in Winnipeg, serving overseas with the 8th Battalion. He was reported as killed in action on 31 August 1918 and is interred in the Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt, Pas de Calais, France.

Walter and Dorothy were to first make Winnipeg their home, giving birth to sons George Arthur in 1929 and Edward Clark in 1930. Moving to Calgary in the early 1930’s, son Robert Walter was born in 1936. Walter had a long career with the William Wrigley Gum Company and by 1940 had relocated to Vancouver with the company as the British Columbia manager. According to his later obituary, Walter served with the Seaforth Reserves during WW2. He was a member of the United Commercial Travellers and had been named as the 1951 president of the Kiwanis Club.

After a very short illness, Walter died on 25 November 1950 in St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Dorothy and their three sons, his parents who were also living in Vancouver, and siblings Robert in Great Falls, Manitoba, Frank in Montreal, Florence (George) Lloyd in Kamloops and Alice (Rodney) Aylwin in Vancouver. His father later died in 1952 and mother in 1964, both in Vancouver, brother Frank in 1975 in Montreal, brother Robert in 1988 in Maple Ridge, BC, sister Florence Lloyd in 1996 in Burnaby, and sister Alice Aylwin in 2008 in Penticton, British Columbia. Walter’s wife Dorothy died on 24 June 1979 in Vancouver, sons Robert on 24 September 1951 in Vancouver, Edward on 27 November 1994 in Evergreen, Colorado, and George on 11 November 1996 in Delta, British Columbia. Disposition for Walter and Dorothy was by cremation, location of ashes unknown.

By Judy Stockham

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