Ordinary Seaman Walter Kartner

Walter Kartner - 1997 31 2
Walter Kartner, 1945. City of Richmond Archives, photograph # 1997 31 2 

Birth: February 16, 1925 in Kocevia, Yugoslavia

Death: December 11, 1945 in Weymouth, England

Service: WWII

Service Number: N4905

Walter Kartner's parents, Frank and Mary, met and were married in the part of Austria which became Yugoslavia after World War I. The first four children were born there before Mr. Kartner emigrated to Canada in 1928. The family followed in 1930. Walter attended elementary school in Richmond and was a graduate of Richmond High School in 1943. He was trained as an industrial x-ray technician and was a Roman Catholic.

On enlistment in February 1945 Walter joined the Royal Canadian Navy and volunteered for seven years. He had several postings, including HMCS Cornwallis and HMCS Stadacona and was eventually based in England. His family were expecting him home for Christmas 1945, relieved that the war was over and he was safe.

The telegram was read to Mr. Kartner, over the neighbour's telephone, stating that Walter had died. Apparently he had been playing hockey and came off to have something to eat. After eating a cookie, he collapsed and died. The official explanation was that part of the cookie found its way into Walter's lungs causing breathing difficulties.

Karl Kartner, Walter's older brother, served in the Canadian army and the family had just built a new house on their property on Railway Avenue. Mr. and Mrs. Kartner, Karl, Rudi, Mary and Martha were left to mourn the untimely death of Walter.

History of the Road Name (Kartner Road):

  • Name choice advised to Council in letter from R.C. Palmer, City Clerk, dated June 14, 1954, as a WWII veteran.  (Street Naming File 6818 1950-1955)
  • Council Resolution to adopt road name: Council Meeting June 21, 1954, res. 559, pg. 355