William Waddel was born April 26, 1880 at Leith, Scotland. He was the son of Robert and Helen Taylor Waddel, of Leith, Scotland. William emigrated to Canada in 1903 and eventually settled in the Craigellachie area. He became a prominent citizen and farmer of that area, active in Conservative Party circles. He also had some military experience from his time in Scotland.
The newspaper of March 11, 1916 carried this account of his enlistment.
“Popular Craigellachie recruit honoured. A large crowd of Craigellachie residents assembled at the CPR depot on Monday night to bid farewell to one of their most popular settlers: William Waddell, who has taken a prominent part in the public life of this community as vice president of the Farmers’ Institute, vice president of the Eagle River Valley Conservative association, secretary of the school trustees and Dominion fire ranger. Mr. Waddell has joined the 172nd battalion, overseas forces. A public whist drive and dance was given in Mr. Waddell’s honour, in the schoolhouse on Feb. 29, when friends from far and near assembled to do him honour. There was another reception on Friday evening March 3 when Mrs. A.S. Alderton and Mrs. J.E. Paulding held a joint reception at Meadow Lake ranch. Music, dancing and whist were the features of the evening. At midnight a very dainty supper was served. His friends noted their appreciation of his patriotism in answering to the stirring call of King and Country and expressed their hope for his safe return. The evening ended with “Auld Lang Syne” and “God Save the King.”
William Waddel signed his enlistment papers on March 4, 1916. His regimental number was 687879. He was 36 years old, single, 5’ 10” tall with brown hair and blue eyes. His religious affiliation was Presbyterian. He left Halifax on October 25, 1916 on the HMT Mauritania, arriving in England on October 31. He proceeded to France with his unit on December 5, 1916.
William Waddel died March 1, 1917. He was 37 years old. At the time of his death he was a Private serving with the 54th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario) Regiment. He is buried at the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, France.
The name of William Waddel is inscribed on the Courthouse plaque but not on the Cenotaph plaque. The citizens of Malakwa undertook to erect their own memorial and his name is inscribed on it.