was the 4th child and first son of Walter Dicks and Caroline Beach, my GG Grandparents making him my 2nd Great Uncle. He was born on 22 FEB 1884 • Ottawa, Carleton, Ontario, Canada. At first, it was hard to find his birth record as it is transcribed as Wieser Frederick Dicks, father Walser Dicks, birth date 2 Feb 1884.
These errors are just some of the things I have found makes me that say that Walter was a bit of a man of mystery.
I don’t know much about his childhood, but there was sadness. There were 8 children born into the family but 3 died as small children — his older sister, Ester died in Dec 1894 of consumption at the age of 5; before her death his youngest brother, Gordon Milton was born in April of 1894 and passed away in July of 1894 of Canadian Cholera and then a younger brother, Silas George died of diphtheria in 1896. at the age of 6.
In one of the articles listed below it is said that he attended Kent Street School, which was apparently around for over 100 years before it was taken down. It has apparently been listed as one of Ottawa’s Lost Buildings by the Ottawa Archives.
At some point, Walter followed in his Grandfather, Thos Dicks, and became a bricklayer. And this is where some of the mystery about him comes into play. He signed up in Montreal to join the service but one of the articles says he was a Bricklayer for the last 8 years (before he joined) with the Plasters and Bricklayers of Winnipeg. Was he working with his Grandfather (who lived in Teulon, Manitoba) and travel to Montreal to join? I tried to find him in the 1911 Canada Census but was unsucessful.
Walter was older than most when he joined. The back of his papers list him as 31 yrs and 4mths. He was 5ft 5″ tall, 140 lbs, blue eyes and brown hair.
He joined the 60th Battalion and was part of the following:
He joined on the 9th of June in 1915 but his Military records say he did not go overseas until 20th of Feb 1916. And it seems he was a little bit of a bad boy as on Jan 1, 1917 per his miltary records:
After this, it looks like he worked hard and finally became a Lance Corporal. Sadly at this time, his father passed away in Ottawa. Looking at the records, it does not seem that he was able to go home. This also brings up a question on one of his records. It is written in red. Who is this person — a member of the miltary or was he a member of the Ottawa Police Department where his father had worked for all those years.
Sadly, Walter was “Killed in Action”
He was instantly killed by an enemy bomb on the night of 4th of October 1918, during and enemy air raid near Bourlen.
As per his will, he left everything to his Mom.
Walter was not shipped home for burial but is buried in Bourlon Wood Cemetery in Bourlon, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
This is his memorial Walter Frederick Dicks
He is also listed on his parents’ headstone in Beechwood Cemetery,Ottawa, Ottawa Municipality, Ontario, Canada Cenotaph for Walter Frederick Dicks
Articles & Memorial
From the Ottawa Citizen Paper in Ottawa – One Obituary
From the Ottawa Journal October 17th – Article on Walter
Memorial – St. Matthew’s Anglican Church 217 First Avenue Ottawa, Ontario – Church Memorial
And lastly, a distant relative, C Ryan sent me this photo of him — a handsome young man