Pte. Walter Collingwood

Pte. Walter Collingwood

Remembrance Day: North Battleford man ‘pays the supreme sacrifice’

Salmon Arm’s Laureen McKay shares photo, news clippings of great uncle, Walter Collingwood.

Collingwood served with the Canadian Infantry, Saskatchewan Regiment in the First World War. He was killed at the age of 21 while in France on August 21, 1917.

“At the time of his death he was part of the 46 Canadian Infantry Battalion, which became known as the suicide battalion because over 91 percent of the soldiers were either injured or killed,” said McKay. “In his high school in Saskatchewan, Walter had received the Governor General’s academic medal and had been accepted on scholarship to the University of Saskatchewan, who had ensured him that his scholarship would be honoured when he returned from the war.”

A headline to one newspaper clipping provided with the photo reads, Another Local Man Pays The Supreme Sacrifice. The story is as follows:

Word was received in the city on Saturday that Pte. Walter had been killed at the front. In consequence of the fact that no official publication of his death has been published we give the news with reservation. Pte. Collingwood is the second High School student to pay the supreme sacrifice, Jac Munro being the first. Needless to say the news of his death cast quite a gloom over High School students among whom Walter was a great favourite. Not only did he manifest a great capacity for acquiring knowledge but he gave ample proof of exceptional scholastic ability. He is accredited with being one of the cleverest students eve passing through the High School. Among the citizens generally he was greatly like, being of a kind and genial disposition. He is the oldest son of Horest Collingwood, who is also serving with the forces.

A second included newspaper clipping reads as follows:

Killed In Action

Another well known and highly respected North Battleford boy has been killed in action on the western front in the person of Pte. Walter Collingwood, who was well and favourably known here being a song of H. Collingwood for years a barber in the city. Walter was a clever boy and had he lived to prosecute his studies would have no doubt made his mark professionally in the world. He enlisted during the summer of 1916 and as a member of the University Corps went shortly afterwards overseas.

According to a telegram which came to his sister recently he was killed in action on August 21st. His taking away on the field of battle will be heard with a great deal of regret by his many surviving school mates who not only loved him but fully realized what a bright future was in store for him had he been spared to complete his university course. Miss L. O’Connor, principal of the high school, as well as his other teachers here speak glowingly of the deceased, his ability and character. In his high school course in North Battleford he won the university scholarship for best student in his year, and the Governor General’s medal for general proficiency. Before joining the colours he had finished his senior matriculation standing. His father went overseas with the 188th battalion.

Collingwood is buried at La Chaudiere Military Cemetery in Pas de Calais, France.

Read more: Shuswap history in pictures: Downtown addition

Read more: Unmarked Grave Program looking for Canada’s lost veterans
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Remembrance Day