FWW Names – W

Lieutenant Walter Gilbert WHALLEY

Regimental Number: 463392
Enlistment Date / Location / Unit: 30 July 1915 / Vernon, BC / 62nd Battalion
Birth Date / Location: 30 June 1886 / Monmouth, Wales
Parents: George Gilbert Charles Whalley and Mary Stelling Sinnotte
Spouse: Eleanor Annie Cooke
Occupation on Enlistment: Steel Worker
Date of Death / Location: 27 April 1918 / Duxford, Cambridge, England
Age at Death: 32
Unit on Date of Death, or on Demobilization: British Imperial Army, Royal Flying Corp, 129th Squadron
Circumstances of Death: Flying accident
Cemetery or Memorial: St Genevieve Churchyard, Euston, Suffolk, England
Medals / Awards: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Where commemorated: Canadian Virtual War Memorial, Veterans Affairs Canada; First World War Book of Remembrance page 595, Memorial Chamber, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, ON; Maple Ridge Cenotaph, Maple Ridge, BC; Maple Ridge Legion Branch #88 Memorial Plaque; The Gold Stripe Roll of Honour, Maple Ridge, page 89

Walter “Gilbert” Whalley was born in Monmouth, Wales in 1886. Gilbert’s father, George, served in the British Royal Engineers for 23 years, from the age of 14. All three of his sons enlisted during the First World War.

Gilbert emigrated from Great Britain with his parents and siblings in 1893, first settling in Yorkton, SK. By 1905 they had moved to East Vancouver, BC and in 1908 they moved to Port Haney where they took up farming. Gilbert’s sister, Edith Maud Whalley, married Robert Edward Tyner, an engineer living in Maple Ridge, in 1909. Gilbert served 4 years with the 6th Regiment of the Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles before enlisting.

Gilbert enlisted in the 62nd Battalion at Vernon, BC in July 1915. He was a steelworker, was 1.5 meters (5 feet 5 inches) tall, weighed 71 kilograms (158 pounds), had grey eyes and brown hair. Originally a member of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, Gilbert was discharged 5 April 1917 to take up a commission in the British Imperial Army, in the Royal Flying Corp. He was stationed at Duxford airfield.

On 24 May 1917 Gilbert and English-born Eleanor Annie Cooke were married in London; less than one year later she was a widow.

The Cambridge Daily News reported that Gilbert and his sergeant died instantly in a flying accident shortly after take-off on 27 April 1918. A witness saw “parts of the wings break away and the machine continue to dive vertically to the ground.” Gilbert was described as an experienced pilot and instructor.

Gilbert’s two older brothers, Charles Edward Whalley, Regimental No. 505593 and George Arthur Whalley, Regimental No. 2004327 and stepfather, Rothwell Charles Garnett, Regimental No. 2004328 all saw active service and survived the war. After the war, George Arthur Whalley moved south of the Fraser River to an area which was known as Whalley’s Corner, and eventually became the Whalley area of the City of Surrey.

Gilbert’s sister Edith Maud Whalley and husband Robert Edward Tyner, an engineer, lived in Maple Ridge, and are buried at Maple Ridge Cemetery. W.G. Whalley’s name was inscribed on the Cenotaph when it was unveiled in 1923.

(Updated 27-Jan-2024)

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Private Thomas Cripwell WILSON

Regimental Number: 464349
Enlistment Date / Location / Unit: 28 September 1915 / Vernon, BC / 62nd Battalion
Birth Date / Location: 26 April 1880 / Dulwich, Surrey, England (1881 on Attestation Paper)
Parents: Thomas Wilson and Mary Carr
Occupation on Enlistment: Farmer
Date of Death / Location: 30 October 1917 / Passchendaele
Age at Death: 37
Unit on Date of Death, or on Demobilization: 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion
Circumstances of Death: Killed in action
Cemetery: Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium, Panel 32
Where Commemorated: First World War Book of Remembrance page 351, Memorial Chamber, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, ON; Maple Ridge Cenotaph, Maple Ridge, BC; Maple Ridge Legion Branch #88 Memorial Plaque; Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium; Municipality of Maple Ridge Honour Roll, St John the Divine Anglican Church, Maple Ridge, BC; The Gold Stripe Roll of Honour, Maple Ridge, page 89; Whonnock Lake Centre plaque, Maple Ridge, BC; Whonnock’s Roll of Honour in the C.E.F.; Nottingham, All Saints Church, Roll of Honour, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK; Nottingham Cenotaph, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK; Nottingham High School War Memorial, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK

Thomas Cripwell Wilson, known as “Tom”, was born on 26 April 1880 in Dulwich, Surrey to Thomas and Mary (nee Carr) Wilson. The family moved to Nottingham where he attended school. In his records, it was noted that Tom was an excellent cricketeer and batsman.

In February of 1910, Tom sailed on the S.S. Campania to New York. By 1913 he is living as a farmer in Ruskin, BC. At the time of his attestation in September of 1915, he declared his residence as Whonnock, BC.

When he enlisted with the 62nd Battalion, Tom was 1.7 meters tall (5 feet 7-1/2 inches) tall, he had brown hair and brown eyes. On enlistment, Tom was with the 62nd Battalion and arrived in England on 10 April 1916. On May 25th, he was transferred to the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles and sent to France. Soon after, he was injured with a gunshot wound to his left leg. This required two operations to remove the embedded metal. He was not discharged until 23 October 1916.

Tom continued with active duty until 13 July 1917 when he injured his knee. He also complained of loss of hearing in his right ear. On 30 October 1917 he was reported killed in action at the Battle of Passchendaele. His body was never recovered.

Tom left his house in Strathcona Heights, Vancouver and 160 acres by Fraser Lake to his friend, Walter Henry Moore of Vancouver. There is no mention of land in either Ruskin or Whonnock, which implies that he rented the land.

T.C. Wilson’s name was on the Cenotaph when it was unveiled in 1923.

(Updated 03-Jan-2024)

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