Carr, Walter

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Walter Carr
30 July 1878 – 21 February 1928
Sergeant W. Carr (1).jpg
CWM 20070201-008
Place of birth Trinity Bury, Lancashire, England
Place of death Ottawa, Ontairo
Place of burial Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army
Rank Company Sergeant Major
Company Sergeant Major Walter Carr (30 July 1878 - 21 February 1928) was a soldier who served with the British in South Africa during the Boer War and with the Canadians during the First World War.[1]

Early Life

Walter was born to Peter Carr, a cotton dyer, and Martha Jane Jackson on 30 July 1878 at Trinity Bury, Lancashire, England. He was the eldest son but it is not known how many siblings he had.


Carr attested for service with the King's Shropshire Light Infantry on 10 October 1898 at the age of 20 and was assigned the service number 5791. After two months at the depot, he was posted to 2nd Battalion and proceeded to South Africa with the battalion when they sailed on 7th November 1899. The unit was initially deployed on the lines of communication in Western Cape Colony. After the arrival of Lord Roberts at Modder River they were put in the 19th Brigade, along with the Canadian Regiment, under Major General Smith-Dorrien. The unit was at Battle of Paardeberg (18-27 February 1900) and did excellent work. In the latter part of the campaign they were chiefly employed in the Eastern Transvaal with about half the unit on column work at any given time. He was appointed Lance Corporal on 19 June 1901 and promoted Corporal on 1 September 1902.[2] For his service he earned the Queen's South Africa Medal with four bars, CAPE COLONY, PAARDEBERG, DRIEFONTEIN and TRANSVAAL, as well as the King's South Africa Medal with two bars, SOUTH AFRICA 1901 and SOUTH AFRICA 1902.[3]

In January 1903, he proceeded to India with his battalion when they were transferred there. On 19 October 1905 he was appointed Lance Sergeant. He returned to England on 26 October 1906 and, having completed his required service, was transferred to the Army Reserve on 29 October 1906.[2]

He emigrated to Canada in 1907 arriving at Montreal Quebec on 13 May 1907 aboard the Kensington.[4][5]

Carr attested for service with the 2nd Canadian Divisional Signal Company of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 21 January 1915 at Ottawa and was assigned regimental number 62. He listed his occupation as Telephone Linesman, that he was single and claimed his service with the 2nd King's Shropshire Light Infantry. He was described as 5 feet 8.25 inches tall with hazel eyes, dark brown hair and a medium complexion. For unknown reasons, on his attestation he stated that his birth date was 23 June 1878 however other documents all say 30 July.[6]

Carr arrived in England aboard SS Megantic on 24 May 1915. On 1 July 1915, later amended to 1 June, he was confirmed in the rank of sergeant[7], no doubt due to his prior military experience. In September 1915, his company sailed for Le Havre, France where he arrived on the 15th. He was promoted to Company Sergeant-Major (C.S.M.) on 31 March 1917.[8]

Following the Armistice in November 1918, Carr served in Germany as part of the Allied occupation force. In April 1919 he proceeded to Camp Witley, England and then sailed for Canada on 19 May aboard H.M.T. Cedrie. He was discharged at Toronto on 29 May 1919.

Personal Life

On 29 April 1915, just prior to proceeding overseas, he married widow Amy Simpson Winning (1872-1958) at St Lukes Church in Ottawa Ontario. Amy had two duaghters by her previous marriage, Amy Russell and Patricia.[9][10]

The 1921 census shows him working as a mail clerk and the family, including his mother-in-law Jenny Simpson, living at 173 Perry Street in Ottawa.[5]

Carr died from sub acute bacterial endocarditis, a type of heart disease, on 21 February 1928 at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. His illness was attributed to his war service, as symptoms of the disease were first noted in 1916. He is buried at Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa in the Solidiers Plot (Section 29).[11][6]

Related Pages

Related Items


  1. With material from Canadian War Museum Tilston Medal Recipients - Walter Carr
  2. 2.0 2.1 The National Archives, Series WO 97 - Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records 1760-1913; Box 4495; Box record number 71.
  3. The National Archives, WO 100 South Africa, WO 100/194 page 378.
  4. Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Series: RG 76-C; Roll: T-489
  5. 5.0 5.1 Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Reference Number: RG 31; Folder Number: 76; Census Place: 76, Ottawa, Ontario; Page Number: 12
  6. 6.0 6.1 Library and Archives Canada; Service File
  7. This was a confirmation of previous action. He had been promoted to the rank of Sergeant in Canada as evidenced by the embarkation nominal roll.
  8. 2nd Canadian Divisional Signal Company War Diary - March 1917
  9. Archives of Ontario; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Registrations of Marriages, 1869-1928; Reel: 332
  10. City of Ottawa Archive; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Ottawa Journal Newspaper; Date Range: 1957-1958; Microfilm Number: 467
  11. Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; War Graves Registers: Circumstances of Death; Record Group Number: RG 150, 1992-93/314; Volume Number: 250