Orville King Wilson

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Forest, Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada

General information

Last known residence:
Baldur, Manitoba, Canada

Army information

Canadian Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment place:
Baldur, Manitoba, Canada
 —  Canadian Infantry, 46th Bn. (South Saskatchewan)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Vampir, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
Panel: Panel 18 - 26 - 28.

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Orville was born on 21 July 1893 in Forest in the province of Ontario, on the shores of Lake Huron, one of the great lakes on the border between the United States and Canada. At the time of his enlistment, he was a farmer in Baldur in the province of Manitoba, 2,000 km from his birthplace. He was assigned to the 222nd Battalion CEF. He left Halifax for Europe on 14 November 1916 aboard the SS Olympic, sister ship of the SS Titanic. Arriving in England, Orville was trained at Shoreham-by-Sea and Seaford to join a combat unit in France or Belgium. In his case, this became the 46th Battalion (South Saskatchewan) after being assigned by lot in early February 1917.

Orville was wounded in June 1917 in the sector near the northern French town of Lens after heavy German shelling while his battalion was active at the front to build on the existing trench system. A month later, he rejoined his unit, which was still operational in the same sector. In October, the 46th Battalion was transferred to Flanders to be deployed in the push on the German lines at Passchendaele. Orville's stay in Flanders was brief; he died on 22 October as his unit moved from Ypres to the front line to take up positions for the planned attack of 26 October 1917, known as the 2nd Battle of Passchendaele. Moving there was a perilous undertaking over narrow duckboards in a sea of mud; getting off the path was lethal and besides, the paths were regularly shelled by the Germans.

The 24-year-old was buried at Vampir, along the Ieperstraat, just west of Zonnebeke. Today, there is no known grave of Orville. He is commemorated on panel 28 of the Menin Gate.

Files 2

Sources 3

Personnel Records of the First World War (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC) RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 10468 - 32).
Sources used
War diaries: 46th Canadian Infantry Battalion (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC), RG9-III-D-3, Volume number: 4940, Microfilm reel number: T-10746, File number: 437).
Sources used
War Graves Registry: Commonwealth War Graves (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC): RG150, 1992-1993/314, Box 39-244; Box: 135).
Sources used