Walter Henry Smith Gordon was born in Clifford, Wellington Country, Ontario, in the year 1877. Around 1889, when Gordon was just a young boy, he and his parents Adam Gordon and Theresa Kingsley moved to Port Arthur, ON. His working career began around age 18 when he worked for the Port Arthur Evening Chronicle and the Fort William Times Journal as a reporter, working on the first mechanical typesetter used at the Lakehead. From there he served Port Arthur’s City Council from the years 1913-1914, which lead into the next year when he joined the 52nd battalion at age 38. He then joined the 32nd Reserve Battalion, the 8th Battalion, and finally the Forestry Corps.
During his time serving in WWI he was able to write letters home that were put into the newspaper, recorded for all to hear about what he and the other Port Arthur boys were experiencing at that time. It shows the tough work they were put through and the fear they lived in. The first letter in the paper, dating July 21, 1915, began his journey as a Lieutenant in WWI.
This story has been researched and written by Jake Alfieri, based on accounts and information published in local newspapers at the time.
Read Captain Gordon’s military records through Library and Archives Canada.