Walter Edward Bonsall, MM


Aug 2, 1890

Born at Poltimore Quebec


Mar 22, 1916

Attested into the 154th Battalion at Ottawa Ontario 

Ø      Number 633918

Ø      Next of kin given as Mr R Bonsall (father) of 334, Laurier Ave, Ottawa Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Cheesemaker

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Church of England


Oct 25, 1916

Embarked the HMS Mauretania at Halifax Nova Scotia



Oct 31, 1916

Disembarked at Liverpool England


Jan 27, 1917

TOS (Taken On Strength) the 156th Battalion


May 24, 1917

Arrived at CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) at Havre France and TOS the 21st Battalion


Nov 14, 1917

Admitted to hospital in France with diagnosis of Trench Foot and suffering effects of gas exposure


Nov 26, 1917

Invalided to England and TOS EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot) while in hospital


Jan 7, 1918 Wrote a letter home from hospital:

Woodcote Park
Hut 99.  Div H.
Epson Surrey

Jan 7/918 

Dear Cousin 

Just a few lines to let you know I am getting better also I am in England again.   I got gassed and took trench feet up at the battle of Passchendarle.  it sure was some scrap we went over the top on the morning of Nov the seventh. and stayed nine days we sure had a hard fight me told Fritz face to face it was the first time I ever used the bayonet and believe me I don’t know how I came through it I was hit several times had my clothes torn and my gas resperator torn off me.  but was lucky enough to get out alive.  We were nine days in mud and water up to our hips and it rained about six days out of the time so you can imagine what kind of a time we have to put up with then there is some people will growl if they get there feet wet.  I was made L. Corl. just before the battle. but I soon got rid of the stripe when I got over in England. I was five weeks in hospital in Liverpool had a swell time there, there was only seven Canadians in the hospital besides my self.  We were well used by the Can. Red Cross there was a nice lady used come around twice a week and bring us Canadian papers cigaretes tobacco fruit and other comforts I am in the Canadian Convalescent hospital at Epson now I have been here since Christmas we sure had a swell Christmas.  Had Goose English Plum pudding brandy nuts and fruit and after dinner we got a pair of socks filled with cigarettes Candy and other little things and for supper we had Canadian fruit cake and preserves all put by the Can Red. Cross.  So you see they certainly look after the sick and wounded I am quite a bit better now my voice is getting better when I was first gassed I couldn’t speak above a whisper and my feet are getting better but very tender  yet I am busy growing new toe nails as they all came off.  Well I expect to get my sick leave soon we get fourteen days I have not decided where to go I some times think I will go to Ireland as I have been to Scotland and seen quite a bit of England.  I am very anxious about Ernie I have written him five times now and have not had any answer yet I am beginning to think he must of been killed or wounded well I have not had any Canadian mail since Oct or since I left France but I guess I will soon be getting a whole bunch of it then I will have a big time answering it   Well I guess I will have to close as I have run out of news.  How is Jack and Uncle and Auntie  I wish I could spend my sick leave in Poltimore but that is out of the question I will have to go over to France and do a little more before I will get that as old Fritz will stand a lot of beating yet .  HaHa  Well I will close give my best wishes to all the people and remember me to Aunty and Uncle I will close Hoping this finds you all well Wishing you a prosperous and Happy New Year.  So Good Bye. ee. 

From your Loving Cousin

W E Bonsall  
 21st Canadians

Woodcote Park
 Hut 99. Div 4                                                              Epson Surrey Eng



Mar 29, 1918

Arrived at CIBD, Havre France and TOS 21st Battalion from the 6th Reserve Battalion


Apr 30, 1918

TOS the 2nd Battalion CMGC (Canadian Machine Gun Corps)


Dec 14, 1918

Promoted to rank of Cpl


Feb 11, 1919

Awarded the Military Medal per London Gazette #31173



Apr 17, 1919

Posted to CMGRD (Canadian Machine Gun Regimental Depot) at Havre.


Sep 12, 1919

Embarked for Canada


Sep 23, 1919

Returned to Canada and discharged from the CEF

 Upon return to Canada he has listed employment as cheese maker, however location not indicated for first several years. Prior to service in second war he indicated that he worked 8 years as cheese maker / farm hand for J.Campbell of Osgoode Station.


Oct 22, 1942

Enlisted in the Home Guard


Aug 31, 1945

Discharged from the Home Guard

After the war he return to Osgoode Township to work as a cheese maker, eventually opening a Cheese factory in Vernon Ontario.  Sometime later he opened a cheese factory in Galetta Ontario.  The history after this period is not known but he apparently returned to Poltimore Que prior to his death in 1982.

Feb 7, 1982

Died in Poltimore Quebec

Christ Anglican Church Cemetery
Poltimore Quebec


Information and photos supplied by Jim Stevenson and the Osgoode Township Historical Society & Museum

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