The O'Leary Collection—Medals of The Royal Canadian Regiment

477951 Private Frederick George Walker

The Royal Canadian Regiment

By: Capt (ret'd) Michael M. O'Leary, CD, The RCR

Frederick George Walker was born at Oshawa, Ontario, on 13 Sep 1895. He was the son of George and Elizabeth Walker.

A 20-year-old clerk, Walker attested for service with The Royal Canadian Regiment at Toronto on 15 Oct 1914. He was described on his attestation paper as 5 feet 7 inches tall, with a 36 inch chest, medium complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair. Walker identified his mother, Mrs. George Walker, 160 Bruce St., Oshawa, Ont, as his next of kin. His religious denomination was Church of England.

On joining The RCR, Walker was initially assigned the regimental number 20081. This would later be changed to the Canadian Expeditionary Force (C.E.F.) service number 477951.

Walker was medically examined for overseas service in the C.E.F. and attested for C.E.F. service on 24 August 1915. He was at the Regimental Depot in Halifax at this time and joined the ranks of the Regiment as it prepared to sail to England after its year of garrison duty in Bermuda. As part of his administrative preparations for C.E.F. service, Walker assigned approximately half of his pay, $15.00 per month, to be sent to his mother. She also received $20.00 per month separation allowance.

On 13 Oct 1915, while the Regiment was training in England before going to France, Walker completed a Form of Will. In this will he left all of his estate to his mother.

Crossing the Channel and landing at Boulogne on 1 Nov 1915, Walker entered the theatre of war with The RCR. The Battle Honours awarded to The Royal Canadian Regiment over the next year and a half identify the major actions he was present for:

Walker enjoyed a leave rotation after a year of service in and out of the trenches, being granted 10 days leave of absence starting 5 Dec 1916. After delays in returning to the Regiment, the result of haphazard transportation for the movement of individual soldiers that were not a priority, he rejoined the battalion in the field on 17 Dec.

Having a service record with few entries, Walker's period of leave is the only event noted between his arrival in France and his final days. On 9 Apr 1917, the fateful date of the attack on Vimy Ridge by the Canadian Corps, Fred Walker was wounded in action. With a gun shot wound to the right knee (recorded with the abbreviation G.S.W. which applied to bullet, shrapnel, and splinter wounds) he was evacuated from the field of battle. On 13 Apr 1917, Walker was reported as seriously ill at No. 26 General Hospital, Etaples.

Fred Walker died of his wounds on 18 Apr 1917 at No. 26 General Hospital Etaples. He is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, one of six Royal Canadians interred there. The cemetery grave register identifies Walker as a "Signaller."

Walker was entitled to receive the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, and Victory Medal. These were sent to his mother, Elizabeth Walker. She also received a silver Memorial Cross and a Memorial Plaque with accompanying scroll.

Elizabeth Walker also received the War Service Gratuity to which Fred would have been entitled, a sum of $180.

The personalized inscription at the base of Fred Walker's headstone reads "In Loving Memory, Mother and Sisters."

Pro Patria

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