Born in England in 1896, Walter Ashfield was remembered as a fantastic editor, held in high esteem. He began his editor career as a printer’s apprentice at the age of 15. After one year as an apprentice, he came to Canada and began working at the Brandon newspaper. Around that same time, he joined the 99th Manitoba Rangers and in 1913, he was in uniform. The next year, he was put into active service after the outbreak of the First World War. It would not be until April of 1916 that he would head overseas to serve with the 79th Battalion.
Ashfield was a brave soldier and in July of 1918, he was wounded at Oppy Wood. Sent back home in January of 1919, he went right back to the business he loved, newspapers. That same year, he married Nettie Margaret Brown.
In 1921, he became the owner, publisher and editor of the Grenfell Sun. While wearing all three hats at the newspaper, he still continued with his military career. He helped to organize an infantry company in the community with Dr. Cal Bricker, and in 1934, he was made commander of the unit, which at the time was known as D Company, in the Assiniboia Regiment.
In 1937, the unit was converted to an artillery unit and it became the 65th battery of the 22nd Field Brigade. Two years later, the unit was put into active duty but for Ashfield, he was deemed too old to be in active duty, preventing him from serving overseas, to his great disappointment.
He would serve as a Brigade Major of the 40thReserve Brigade Group, as well as the second-in-command of the No. 12 Depot in Regina. Following the Second World War, he left the 22nd Field Regiment, putting in command his son, Lt. Col. Clifford Ashfield.
In 1946, he was chosen as the president of the Canadian Weekly Newspaper Association. In addition, he served on town council, with the Canadian Legion, the Board of Trade and the School Board.
In 1949, his beloved wife passed away. The couple had five children. One year later, he married Gertrude Ella Sarles.
He passed away on Oct. 3, 1953, with the rank of Colonel in the army.
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