Walter Joseph Beck (1903–?) was born on March 15, 1903 in Upper Prospect, Halifax County, Nova Scotia. He enlisted in Halifax on May 18, 1918, giving his date of birth as January 30, 1900 to pass as three years older. Beck joined the 1st Depot Battalion in the Nova Scotia Regiment of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) and sailed for England aboard the SS Nellore on August 15, 1918. While at Bramshott training camp in England, Beck was admitted to hospital in September 1918 for treatment of mumps. He was discharged and returned to Canada in June 1919 aboard the SS Mauretania. While few specific details are known about Beck’s life, his service file shows that he was one of a number of Canadians who lied about their age to serve with the CEF. Some of these underage soldiers were discovered before they left Canada and were sent home. Others went on to training camps in England, such as Canada’s last surviving First World War veteran, John Henry Foster Babcock. Still others experienced service on the front line.
Service Record Details
Date of Birth: March 15, 1903 (Upper Prospect, Halifax County, Nova Scotia) (Paperwork in his service file indicates January 30, 1900 as his birthdate)
Date of Attestation: May 18, 1918 (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Age at Enlistment: 15 years old (Paperwork in his service file indicates his age as 18 years, 4 months old)
Height: 5 feet, 7 inches
Weight: 133 lbs
Description: Fair complexion, blue eyes, light brown hair. Roman Catholic.
Home Address: Upper Prospect, Halifax County, Nova Scotia and 30 Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Next of Kin: Parents are deceased. Sister, Muriel Beck, is living at the Home of the Good Shepherd in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a home for young single women.
Theatre of War: England
- September 29, 1918 – Beck is treated for mumps, spending a total of 23 days in hospital. He has no permanent disability.
- Beck has some dental work done during his service with the CEF including the extraction of multiple teeth.
- Copies of laboratory reports from when he was ill are contained in his service file.
Interesting Details from the Service Record
- “Family history – Father, mother and sister all died of T.B.” (tuberculosis).
The London Gazette
No mentions found.
Military Medals, Honours and Awards (1812–1969)
No mentions found.
No records located.