Gunner Walter James Lantz was born in Pinette, Prince Edward Island, on February 2, 1881, to parents Joseph T. and Bessie Lantz. Prior to WWI he served two years in the Militia with the 82nd Regiment (Abegweit Light Infantry).
Lantz enlisted with the 98th Canadian Siege Battery (C.S.B.) in Charlottetown, P.E.I., on October 6, 1915. Shipping for England on board the S.S. Lapland in late November, he proceeded to France in late May of 1916, where he continued to serve with the 98th C.S.B. until he was killed in action by a German shell on July 12, 1916. Lantz was buried at Dartmoor Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt, France.
After Lantz was killed, his old school friend and fellow 98th C.S.B. soldier Lieutenant James Parker Hooper (later promoted to Major) made a memorial photo album for Lantz’s parents with pictures of Walter and other members of the 98th taken in and around the front-line trenches in the Somme/Mametz region of France. The photographs were taken by Hooper and Lantz in the weeks immediately preceding Lantz’s death in July of 1916. Images of each page of the album, including both the text and photographs, have been posted with transcriptions in the Collection Contents “Album” section; additionally, larger views of each of the photographs have been posted separately in the Collection Contents “Photos” section.
More information about the album’s creator can be found on the WWI Collection page of Major James Parker Hooper, MC.
Several other members of the 98th C.S.B. who appear in the album’s photographs have been identified as: Gunner Ernest Franklin Kelly (page 4); Major William Stephen Trenholme (page 7); Major Temple William Faber MacDonald’s (page 8); Sergeant Percy Wilfred MacNevin (page 8). The crosses in the forefront of page eleven’s photograph of Dartmoor Cemetery mark the graves of two soldiers of the 4th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, United Kingdom: Corporal B.A.G. Creasey and Private James Sharpe.
Gnr. Lantz’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 92921) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
Burial information is available at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
A memorial page honouring Lantz can be visited online at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
Major James Parker Hooper’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# not assigned*).
Gnr. Ernest Franklin Kelly’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 92875).
Major Temple William Faber MacDonald’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# not assigned*).
Sgt. Percy Wilfred MacNevin’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 92891).
Major William Stephen Trenholme’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# not assigned*).
*[WWI officers were not routinely assigned Service/Regimental #s]
[Editor’s note: Collection reviewed/updated September 2022. Some additional materials have been added and some changes to categorization of Collection Contents have been made; transcription of the album’s written content has been added; photo descriptions have been reviewed and expanded.]