William Ernest Wilson was born January 1, 1874 at Ottawa, Ontario. He was the son of William Wilson, M.D., K.C. and Frances Wilson of Ottawa. He had at least one sister, Mrs. Mary F. Kuhring of Toronto. He worked a farm in the Malakwa area prior to the beginning of the war.
William Wilson signed his enlistment papers August 19, 1915 at Vernon. His regimental number was 443675. He was 41 years old, single, 5’ 4” tall with black hair and brown eyes. His religious affiliation was Anglican.
Wilson left Halifax on board HMT Saxonia on November 22, 1915, and arrived in Plymouth on December 1, 1915. He arrived in France on August 14, 1916.
There is a mention of William Wilson in the February 17, 1916 edition of the Revelstoke Review.
“The Review is in receipt of a postcard signed W.E.W. No. 443675 (Wilson, William Ernest) dated Bromshott, Jan. 19, 1916: No. 12 platoon much pleased with gifts from Revelstoke and apples from the Okanagan Valley – 54th battalion.”
William Wilson died November 21, 1916 during the battle of the Somme. He was 42 years old. At the time of his death he was a Private serving with the 54th Battalion (Central Ontario) Regiment. He is buried at the Contay British Cemetery, France.
The name of William Wilson is inscribed on the Courthouse plaque but not on the Cenotaph plaque. The citizens of Malakwa decided that they would erect their own memorial to its fallen and the name of William Wilson is inscribed on the Cenotaph at Malakwa.