850917 Pte. William Stuart Gull was born on November 17th, 1898, in Birmingham, England, to Charles and Alice Gull. The couple had a second son, Alfred in 1902. Alice died in 1907, due to pneumonia, and two years later the boys became "Home Children". Like many children, Walter and Alfred were forced to migrate to one of the Empire's Dominions through a social program that hoped to give orphaned and destitute children a better life.

Walter, 10, and Alfred, 7, arrived in Portland, Maine, USA, aboard the Dominion in 1909, as part of a party of 310 children destined for one of the Barnardo homes in Canada. From there both boys where placed in the home of Chauncey and Naomi Dawdy, of Welland Township, located in the Niagara Peninsula, Ontario.

Seventeen year old Walter was still working on the Dawdy fruit farm when he enlisted into the 176th (Niagara Rangers) Battalion in Welland, on September 5th, 1916. He was subsequently discharged at Camp Borden after five weeks of training, being deemed under aged and mentally deficient.

Walter was working in Grey County when he once again enlisted in the C.E.F., this time attesting to the 248th Battalion on December 17th, 1917. His new unit assigned him 1066110 as his service number. That is until they realized his previous engagement. Keeping with C.E.F. policy the unit changed his service number back to the one originally issued.

Billeted locally over the remainder of the winter, Walter would have been put up in Owen Sound, to undergo training with the Company located there. Sailing with the unit in May of that year, the 248th Battalion was absorbed into the 8th Reserve Battalion upon its arrival in England.

Walter was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. in the field on February 2nd, 1918, while the unit was out of the line at Houdain. Serving with the unit through the winter, George would see service in the Battle of Amiens, coming through that battle unscathed.

His next engagement was the Battle of Arras, where on August 28th, he received simultaneous shrapnel wounds to his right side. Severely wounded he was evacuated through the medical system. As a result of his wounds Walter's right leg was amputated, below the knee, giving Walter an expensive "Blighty" (ticket out of the war via England).

After the armistice and still hospitalized in England, Walter appears to have being going stir crazy, as the one legged soldier took it upon himself to go absent without leave on two separate occasions. His unauthorized vacations totalled twenty-one days, but his excursions cost him dearly. In the resulting summary trials, Walter forfeited twenty-two days' pay and fined a further forty-six days' pay. His indiscretions may have also garnered him a trip home for he sailed for Canada later that month.

850917 Private Walter Stuart Gull sailed home to Canada where he continued his medical treatment in Hamilton. He was finally struck off strength of the C.E.F. on September 20th, 1919.

In 1928 Walter married Jean McEwen and the couple lived in Canada for a number of decades before they emmigrated to England in 1955, when he listed his intended place of residence as Oswestry, Shropshire, England. Seventy-one year old Walter passed away on August 1st, 1970.

Credit and many thanks go George Auer for the above biography.