Private Walter Steeves

Walter Steeves
Walter Steeves, [ca. 1915]. We Will Remember Them, Mary Keen

Birth: March 10, 1896 in Steveston, BC
Death: March 27, 1917 in France
Service: WWI
Regimental Number: 761247

Walter Steeves enlisted in Vancouver on May 4, 1916, aged 20 years, giving his occupation as farmer. He was 5ft 7inches tall, with fair hair and grey eyes, and stated that his religion was Methodist. He listed his widowed mother Mrs. Ida B. Steeves, a dairy farmer, as his next of kin and his address was Steveston. Walter had an older sister Edith Alice who was born November 2, 1894.

Ida Bertha Steves had arrived on Lulu Island in 1878 with her mother Martha, three brothers, and two sisters after an 18 day trip from Maryland by train and boat. Her father, Manoah Steves, had arrived in 1877 to take up residence on 400 acres of land. The community of Steveston is named for the Steves family. Ida married her cousin Walter, known as Billy, Steeves in 1891. Billy was from the New Brunswick branch of the family which had a variant spelling of the family name. Billy ran a livery stable and had a contract with the Royal mail stage coaches. He was killed in December 1895 by a falling tree while driving in South Vancouver. Mrs. Ida Steeves died in 1965 aged 95.

On enlistment Walter Steeves joined the 121st Overseas Battalion of the 11th Regiment Irish Fusiliers and embarked for England on board the Empress of Britain, arriving August 24, 1916. While in England he was first transferred to the 16th Canadian Reserve Battalion and then to the 54th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Walter arrived in France on February 8, 1917 and was killed in action March 27, 1917. His mother Ida Steeves received the memorial cross, plaque and scroll and was the beneficiary of Walter's personal estate.