Thursday, 9 November 2017

Manitoba's WWI Fallen: Howard S. Wilton of Glenboro

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, I am working on a series of blog posts and radio shows that will look at 100 Manitobans who died in action. For more about this project and links to other soldiers, follow this link.

Howard Sylvester Wilton was born and raised in Gleboro, Manitoba. When he enlisted in February 1916 with the 226th Overseas Battalion he was single and listed his occupation as farmer.

The 226th was based in Dauphin. It was raised over the winter of 1915 - 16 in rural Manitoba and was nicknamed the “Men of the North".

Early 1900s Glenboro (Source: Peel's)

In July 1916, Wilton had a chance to spend a few days back in his home town before his battalion left for England in December. Soon after arriving, he became part of 43rd Battalion (Cameron Highlanders of Canada) and was a machine gunner with the “B” Division.

The Cameron Highlanders fought at both Passchendaele and Vimy Ridge in 1917.

It was in the early days of their time on the front lines at Vimy that Wilton was initially reported as "missing after action" before turning up in wounded in a hospital in France.

He died on October 26, 1917 at the age of 26. His exact circumstances of death are unknown.

Glenboro Gazette, December 20, 1917

Mrs J. Wilton, Howard's mother, shared the letter she received from one of her son's superior officers with the local newspaper.

Upon news of his death the Glenboro Gazette wrote: “He fought like a hero and died at his post… His name will live in the history of Glenboro as one of her noblest sons.”

Private Wilton is is commemorated on the Menin Gate (Ypres) Memorial, Belgium and the Glenboro War Memorial


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