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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Walter Bernhardt Schmidt

In memory of:

Corporal Walter Bernhardt Schmidt

March 14, 1945

Military Service


Service Number:

L/74902

Age:

26

Force:

Army

Unit:

The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals

Additional Information


Son of Leopold and Antonie Schmidt, of Windsor, Ontario.

Commemorated on Page 562 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:
Grave Reference:

X. F. 2.

Location:

Adegem Canadian War Cemetery is located midway between Brugge (17 km) and Gent (26 km) on the N9 which connects the two towns. From Brugge, Adegem is approached via Sijsele and Maldegem. On reaching Adegem, the cemetery is located on the Prins Boudewijn Laan, on the right hand side of the N9. In the last week of September 1944, the Allies held the city of Antwerp, but the Germans held both shores of the Scheldt estuary, so that the port of Antwerp could not be used. The task of clearing the southern shore of the estuary was allotted to the 3rd Canadian Division, aided by the 4th Canadian Armoured Division and the 52nd Division. Their operations lasted from October until the beginning of November 1944. By 3rd November the Germans had been cleared from the north-west corner of Belgium and the south shore of the Scheldt was free. There had been fierce fighting for two weeks for the crossing of the Leopold Canal. The majority of the men buried at Adegem died during the operations for the clearance of the south bank of the Scheldt; but many Canadians who lost their lives elsewhere in Belgium were also brought here for burial.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Photo of Walter B. Schmidt– Walter Schmidt was born near Glentworth, Saskatchewan on July 4th, 1918. He attended Twin Valley Public School, and Consul High School. Walter enrolled on November 22nd, 1940 with the South Saskatchewan Regiment and completed basic training on December 20th, 1940. He was called for active duty in January 1942, and assigned to the Royal Canadian Ordinance Corps, training in Hamilton, Ontario. Upon completion of training, he was dispatched to England aboard the Liner Queen Elizabeth, leaving at the end of March, 1943, arriving in Glasgow, Scotland, on April 3rd. Prior to embarking to Europe in 1944, the unit was changed to the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
Walter was the oldest son of Antonie and Leopold Schmidt of Windsor, Ontario, and formerly of Glentworth, Saskatchewan. At the time of death was survived by two brothers, Frank (Royal Canadian Air Force) and Ted, and eight sisters, Margaret, Mary, Anne, Elsie, Hilda, Violet, Adeline and Dolores. Walter's passion and hobby was music. He enjoyed playing piano, singing, writing music and poems. Signed all of his letters home with the same words "Just Me Walter". Last known to be seen repairing the "Gas Works" in Nymegen, Holland, late in February, 1945. He was a proud Canadian, and served his country well. God Rest His Soul.
Photos and captions assembled by Walter's family, notably brother Ted and nephews Gerhardt, Gary and Harold. Much of the information was easy to find, due to prior efforts by sisters Mary, Anne, and mother Antonie.
  • Adegem Canadian War Cemetery– Adegem is in the north-west corner of Belgium in the province of East Flanders, fourteen miles from Bruges on the road to Ghent. The 2nd Canadian Corps was allotted the task of liberating this part of the country in September 1944, and the cemetery contains the graves of Canadians who fell in operations in the vicinity in that month, and later during the clearing of the Dutch island of Walcheren and the peninsula of South Beveland on the northern side of the Scheldt estuary.
The entrance consists of wrought-iron gates between tall brick piers surmounted by stone vases. From the entrance a turfed avenue flanked by sentinel Irish yews leads to a simple shelter constructed of local hand-made bricks roofed with pantiles, characteristic of Flanders. The Cross of Sacrifice stands midway along the main avenue at the junction of a cross avenue of whitebeams which is terminated at each end by an English oak. Part of the large area between the entrance and the headstones has been enclosed in the shape of a rectangle by low beech hedges, and in the middle large beds of summer flowering heathers have been planted. Canadian maples are planted at regular intervals round the graves. The whole cemetery is surrounded by a wide thickly planted shelter belt of false acacia, maple, pine, birch, alder and beech. A beech hedge with a background of Juneberry has been planted along the front boundary.
  • Walter's Headstone at Adegem Cemetery– The care of Allied war cemeteries and respect for the service men and women is widely known. When asking for directions to Walter's cemetery, the Belgium people were very helpful upon knowing my purpose, and the cemetery well looked after, even in the off-tourist season. The headstone text is repeated below.
L.74902 Corporal W. B. Schmidt
Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
14th March, 1945, Age 26
God took you home, it was his will, but in our hearts you still will live.
  • Walter's War Medals– Left to right: The 1939-1945 Star; The France and Germany Star; The Defence Medal; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal; The War Medal 1939-1945.
The medals shown in this picture are from the Canadian Military Medals and Decorations section of the Veterans Affairs Canada website.
  • Schmidt Bay Certificate– The province of Saskatchewan named geographic features in memory of over 3,800 servicemen who lost their lives in active service for their country. Please see the "Schmidt Bay Road Map" for the location of Schmidt Bay. The Certificate text is repeated below.
"At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them."
Province of Saskatchewan Department of Natural Resources
In memory of a valiant one from Saskatchewan who gave his life in preservation of ideals of free men.
Schmidt Bay is named after Corporal Walter B. Schmidt.
Latitude 55 degrees 2 minutes; Longitude 102 degrees 16 minutes.
Adopted May 5, 1960.
Certified by the Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names.
  • Schmidt Bay Road Map– Schmidt Bay is part of Wildnest Lake, Saskatchewan, and found near the Manitoba border, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) north-west of Flin Flon.
The smaller green circle indicates the general area of Schmidt Bay. Please see the "Schmidt Bay Local Area Map" for more specific details.
  • Schmidt Bay Local Area Map– While the "Schmidt Bay Road Map" shows the location of Schmidt Bay in relation to highways and towns, this map provides a better identification of the local area. Schmidt Bay occupies a portion of Wildnest Lake and is identified by the dark blue area.
  • Schmidt Bay Aerial Photo– This aerial photo looks Northeast and shows Schmidt Bay in late summer colours. The white area at the top end of the Northeast arm is believed to be wild rice. Many families don't know that some provinces named landmarks to honour servicemen who lost their youth and life in protecting their country. We're pleased to say that Walter's parents knew of and valued this tribute.
Photo courtesy of Doug Chisholm of Woodland Aerial Photography, La Ronge, Saskatchewan.
  • Newspaper Clipping– From the Windsor Daily Star. Submitted for the project, Operation: Picture Me

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